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  Yellow Fever

What is Yellow fever?

Yellow Fever is a viral illness transmitted by a mosquito bite (from an Aedes and Haemogogus type mosquito).

There are two main geographic zones where this endemic exists: 

  • Zone 1: Tropical areas of Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde,Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi Republic, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, São Tomé & Príncipe, the United Republic of Tanzania, Chad, Togo, Zambia. 
  • Zone 2:  Tropical areas of South and Central America: Northern Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana, Panama,Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

What are the signs of Yellow fever & how do you treat it?

In most cases, this is a benign illness. Incubation last 3-6 days; the symptoms are similar to the flu: the beginning is dramatic with a high temperature, headaches, various digestive troubles and overall muscular pains.

An efficient treatment does not exist, but medication can be prescribed to treat the symptoms (the fever and possible pains with antipyretics and analgesics like paracetomal and codeine. Aspirin should be avoided.

In most cases, the illness disappears after 24-72 hours. The fever drops and convalescence is relatively short without after-effects. Unfortunately, this lull (remission period) sometimes precedes the appearance of a much more serious form of the illness (toxic period). Several hours or even days later, the fever can rise again and the patient can suffer from digestive haemorrhaging, jaundice (hence the name Yellow Fever) and severe renal troubles. The patient can then suffer from delirium and convulsions and fall into a coma. This serious form of Yellow Fever often results in death.

Should anyone avoid travelling to countries where Yellow Fever is endemic?

This vaccination is not recommended for children under 9 months of age, pregnant women, people suffering from immune deficiency and certain allergic patients. These four types of travellers should therefore avoid vacationing in Yellow Fever endemic regions. If the trip is absolutely necessary, the doctor at the certified vaccination centre will be able to evaluate the benefits of a vaccination according the risks. It should be noted that even if the vaccination is not given, or there is a contra-indication to it, numerous countries will require a medical certificate before entering their territories.

How to prevent Yellow Fever

Due to the absence of any specific treatment for Yellow Fever, it is absolutely essential to have the vaccination.

Travellers must have a certificate of Yellow Fever vaccination if you have recently travelled to an endemic country, even after a simple transit, to enter into most tropical and sub-tropical countries, including Asia and Oceania.

The vaccination can only be procured in an authorised centre, in a single injection that is validated in a specific health booklet. It must be administered at least 10 days before departure. This delay represents the time necessary for an efficient immunisation. The vaccine against Yellow Fever is valid for 10 years.

But beware! This vaccine is not recommended for people allergic to eggs.

If you have any problems whilst travelling, don’t wait until you get home to consult a doctor. Allianz Global Assistance’s emergency medical team is available to discuss any questions or doubts you may have about your health. We can provide useful advice and organize a consultation wherever you are.



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