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Posts Tagged 'yellow fever certificate'

Yellow Fever: Vaccinations, symptoms, precautions and more…

Monday, February 27th, 2012
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What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever, also known as “Yellow Jack" in slang, is a mosquito-borne viral disease, spread by the bite of female mosquitoes. Just in case there are any doctors in the house, in technical terms, Yellow Fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease that is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family. Check out the funny educational YouTube video below to better understand Yellow Fever, it's symptoms and how it can be prevented.


When is Yellow Fever Prevalent?

The majority of the little suckers are fussy with the conditions they live in. Therefore Yellow Fever is most common at the end of the rainy season in West and Central Africa which is July to October.


How Can I Get Yellow Fever?

Seeing as the disease is passed on from infected mosquito to human, the infection happens when someone is actually bitten by an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.


How Can I Avoid It?

If you’re planning to travel to a country affected by Yellow Fever, you will need to get a Yellow Fever vaccination and the subsequent Yellow Fever vaccination certificate which verifies that you have received the immunisation. A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is valid for 10 years. When entering an affected area you will need to present your vaccination certificate. Officials will not let you into a country without it. Kapeesh? As a further safety precaution (because getting bitten by any mosquito isn't fun) it's advised that you wear long sleeves and long pants and use an insect repellent containing DEET when out in the evenings. Sleeping under a mosquito net decreases chances of getting bitten by mosquitoes, also, staying in rooms with air-conditioning or a fan helps. At night you will find that burning a mosquito coil proves to be very effective at deterring mosquitoes.


Above: mosquito by Zoran Ozetsky

Where is Yellow Fever Prevalent?

The Yellow Fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa, but not in Asia. As far as white coats know, the only hosts of the virus are primates and several species of mosquito. What countries require you to have a yellow fever certificate? Check out the World Health Organisation's country list of yellow fever vaccination requirements and recommendations.

Symptoms of Yellow Fever:

If you only have a mild infection your symptoms will be one, or a few, of the following: fever, headache, chills, back pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Mild infection often only lasts for three to four days. Fifteen percent of these cases lead to a toxic phase with recurring fever, this time accompanied by jaundice due to liver damage, as well as abdominal pain. Other symptoms include bleeding in the mouth, the eyes and in the gastrointestinal tract which causes blood to appear in up-heaved vomit. Not fun.  Only about 20% of cases where infection has led to the toxic phase prove to be fatal. If you survive a Yellow Fever infection you will have life-long immunity to the disease. Luckily there usually isn’t any permanent organ damage from getting Yellow Fever.

Treatment of Yellow Fever:

In the case of Yellow Fever, prevention is better than cure, seeing as there isn’t an effective treatment against the Yellow Fever virus. The flu-like symptoms you get after first contracting the virus is treatable with acetaminophen. Serious infections need medical attention as soon as possible, making hospitalisation one’s best bet. With a simple Yellow Fever vaccination, you will be happily protected against Yellow Fever and are free to travel in affected areas without hassle.

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Tags: health, yellow-fever, yellow-fever-certificate

Travel Documents for Africa

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
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When packing your luggage for an overland trip, the rule of thumb is to pack light, however, when it comes to documentation, you can never be too prepared. Without packing the essential travel documents you may find yourself reaching for those emergency contact details because you may have to cancel your trip.

Photo by Ove Tøpfer

What documents to pack on an overland trip to Africa:

1.  Visa
A valid visa grants you permission to enter a country, meaning you’ll need one depending on what country you are from and where you are travelling to. It’s best to check, nay DOUBLE-check, each country’s immigration information to see if you can acquire a visa on arrival or if you need to get one before you leave your home country. Check out the African visa guidelines and be sure to confirm information with your travel consultant in case of industry updates.

2.  Passport
Make sure you are carrying a valid passport with you at all times… one with enough clear pages for all the stamps you’ll be collecting along the journey. No passport, no pass.

3.  Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is extremely important. Don’t travel without it! When overlanding in Africa you will be visiting remote areas and may be embarking on adventure activities. If something goes wrong and you need to be air lifted, the last thing you want to hear is “You didn’t take travel insurance? Oh dear, you stay here and pray while I go find a tourniquet”. Travel advice of the decade: Insure. Insure. Insure.

4.  Money
Regarding money, most African countries accept USD, EUR, GBP and Namibia and South Africa largely accept South African Rand. Remote areas in Africa only accept cash and do not have credit card facilities so it is a good idea to carry cash with you. If you are worried about carrying cash on you, opt for traveller’s cheques. If traveller’s cheques are lost or stolen they can be replaced if you still have the receipt issued to you when you bought them.

5.  Vaccination Documents
For some areas, vaccinations for malaria and Yellow Fever are essential. Make sure you are aware of any risks and get all required vaccinations before travelling. Once you have received your vaccinations for an area, you will receive a vaccination certificate which you will need to carry with you on your journey through Africa. It’s a good idea to write a list of your allergies in your vaccination certificate booklet so that in the unlikely event of you not being able to speak for yourself, your booklet will offer your medical information and requirements. Read more about health and safety tips for visitors to Africa.

6.  Contact Numbers
When travelling, you should keep the telephone number of your travel consultant with you. This is just a safety net, so that if you get sick, lost or need to make new bookings while in another country, your travel consultant will be able to help you with advice and resources to get you out of a pickle.

7.  Copies
So you’ve packed your visa, passport, travel insurance, traveller’s cheques, vaccination certificate booklet and contact numbers. Now make sure that you have certified copies of these documents made. One set to leave at home and one set to take with you on your journey. Just in case. So now that you know what documentation to pack on a trip to Africa, its time to browse through a selection of African overland trips and pick your adventure.

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Tags: documentation, what-to-pack, yellow-fever-certificate