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Posts Tagged 'yellow fever'

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.

Yellowfever_mosquito

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


Latest Yellow Fever Vaccination Recommendations

Friday, June 3rd, 2011
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Yellow Fever in Africa

At the beginning of the year the World Health Organisation published their vaccination recommendations for 2011. Since then the South African Department of Health have recently altered their regulations. Zambia is a region whose regulations have specifically undergone adjustment.

Previously, no proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination was required for those travelling between South Africa and Zambia, but this has now changed: Yellow Fever vaccination proof is now needed. Bordering country Tanzania’s requirements are unchanged, which means that those travelling between Tanzania and South Africa will still require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination.

Passengers, between the two destinations, will also be required to provide proof of Yellow Fever vaccination regardless of how long they have been in-transit for. If you’re leaving for your journey tomorrow, not to worry, the regulation requirements are only expected to be enforced from July 1, 2011. However, for obvious safety reasons its best to get a Yellow Fever vaccination as soon as possible before departure. Any questions? Contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com

LATEST UPDATE: In July 2011, South African Department of Health (SADH) would like to make it clear that travellers DO NOT require a yellow fever certificate for travel between South Africa and Zambia.

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Tags: africa-overland-trips, africa-vaccinations, health, requirements, vaccination, world-health-organisation, yellow-fever, zambia


Yellow Fever Vaccination and Certificate - Do I Need It In Africa?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
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yellow fever sml

Yellow Fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes - much like malaria. Unlike malaria, which is often talked and written about, a lot of travellers aren't sure if they require a vaccination against Yellow Fever or what they need a certificate for. The last thing you want is to get halfway across Africa only to find that the next country on your trip won't let you in - all because of a little piece of paper.

Yellow Fever Facts - Although an effective vaccine has been available for 60 years, the number of people infected over the last two decades has increased and yellow fever is now a serious public health issue again.

- Thirty-three countries, with a combined population of 508 million, are at risk in Africa.

- Yellow Fever is a virus belonging to the 'flavivirus group' and humans and monkeys are the principal animals to be infected.

- The virus is carried by a biting mosquito which can also pass the virus via infected eggs to its offspring.

- Yellow fever is difficult to recognize, especially during the early stages however blood tests can detect yellow fever antibodies that are produced in response to the infection.

- There is no cure for yellow fever. Treatment is symptomatic, aimed at reducing the symptoms for the comfort of the patient.

- Vaccination is the single most important preventive measure against yellow fever. The vaccine is safe, affordable and highly effective, and provides effective immunity within one week for 95% of persons vaccinated. (Ref: World Health Organisation 2009)

Do I Need a Yellow Fever Vaccination and Certificate to travel in Africa? Yes... depending on where you want to go. If you are travelling to a Yellow Fever endemic area (see map) then it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against Yellow Fever. If you are travelling from a Yellow Fever endemic area (anywhere in the world) then you WILL be required to produce your official, stamped vaccination certificate on arrival in many parts of Africa where Yellow Fever is not prevalent.

Check out the full Yellow Fever story at Overlanding Africa.com or post your comments below.


Additional information you may find useful: Travel Documents for Africa Latest Yellow Fever Vaccination Recommendations Africa Budget Safaris – Essential Travel Checklist You Ought To Know Before You Go! Medical Tourism India

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Tags: africa-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, africa-vaccinations, yellow-fever