Yellow Fever vaccine is just one of the travel vaccinations we offer at the Travel Clinic. Yellow Fever vaccine can only be administered by a registered Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre.
Yellow Fever is a potentially very serious viral infection, which can be transmitted to humans in some parts of the world by day-biting mosquitoes, typically Aedes (also known as Stegomyia) species.
The natural reservoir is monkeys and other primates (including humans) in Africa and South America. Monkey-to-human transmission (via mosquitoes) leads to sporadic cases of Yellow Fever in people living in or visiting forested areas. This is sometimes known as 'jungle Yellow Fever' and is the most common route of transmission in South America.
Infected people, leaving the bush to more populated areas can then also cause onward human-human transmission (again via mosquitoes) and more widespread, cyclical outbreaks from time to time - so called: 'urban Yellow Fever'. This is the more common mode of transmission in Africa.
From 2016-18, there was an unusually large epidemic of Yellow Fever in South America, with spread to monkeys and humans in areas not previously affected or not affected for many decades, particularly Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo States of Brazil. There has also been a number of (mainly urban) outbreaks in Central Africa (Angola, DRC, Congo and Uganda) around the same time. The maps and categories of at-risk areas for Yellow Fever transmission have therefore recently been adjusted to take into account the shifting epidemiology.
How serious Is Yellow Fever?
Although most infections go unnoticed, in others there is a sudden-onset high fever, headache, back and muscle ache, nausea and vomiting.
In 15% of cases, the fever progresses to a second, more serious phase with liver failure and jaundice (hence 'Yellow'), abdominal pain and haemorrhagic symptoms such as bleeding from eyes, nose, bladder and gut. Half of these cases die within 10-14 days.
Mandatory Yellow Fever vaccination
For some regions, a valid 'international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis' (or an exemption certificate) is required by immigration control to enter the country. The vaccination certificate only becomes valid ten days after receiving the vaccine, but is now valid for life.
For details of which countries require a certificate, please visit www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk
Please note that just because a country does not require a certificate to enter the country, this does not mean that there is no risk of infection in that country!
Yellow Fever vaccination: is it safe?
If, after careful assessment, the risks to health are considered to outweigh the benefits, an exemption certificate for Immigration purposes may be issued by a registered Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre, such as the TrExMed Travel Clinic.
Yellow Fever Consultation
Some travellers are surprised to hear that they still need a 'single item appointment' before receiving a Yellow Fever vaccination, even if they have been told they need to have it by their own GP. This is because, as responsible practitioners, we have to assess:
© Jim Bond July 2019