Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever is a serious viral infection, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes in the tropics of South America and across to Central Africa.  The virus attacks the bloodstream via the saliva of the mosquito as it bites.  It can then be transported around the body and reproduce itself in different body cells, which is usually the liver, kidneys and blood vessels.

The incubation period from infection is 3 to 6 days.  Some people do not develop a serious form of Yellow Fever  and may only experience a flu-like illness with a fever, headache , muscular pain and fatigue. About 15% of cases the fever progresses to a more serious condition with vomiting, internal bleeding, red tongue, swollen bleeding gums and jaundice.  About half of such serious cases result in death.

Yellow Fever is transmitted to humans via infected mosquitoes, the mosquitoes suck the blood from the infected monkey or human. The infected mosquitoes then spread yellow fever infection by introducing virus-laden saliva into the bloodstream of other humans or monkeys during the bite. When the main source of infected blood for the mosquito is the monkey, the infection is called jungle yellow fever. When the the source of the infected blood is human is called urban yellow fever. Both of these diseases are the same and both have the same outcome.

Yellow Fever is found in some tropical areas of Africa, Central and South America. The number of epidemics has increased since 1980. However, certain groups of people will be at a greater risk than others, People who travel overseas visiting high-risk areas such as Equatorial Africa and Equatorial South America.  

There is no treatment for Yellow Fever, therefore the vaccination is the single most important measure for preventing the disease.  It is given in a single injected dose. The vaccine can only be administered at designated Yellow Fever Centres.  If you have been advised to have a Yellow Fever vaccination, contact your GP for details of nearest centre.

You should be vaccinated when required for entry to a country. A record of your Vaccination must be entered and validated in the specific section of  the yellow International Certificate of Vaccination which is valid for 10 years.  


“How to get vaccinated”