The best way to prevent getting yellow fever is to get vaccinated in your home country before travelling to an area where the disease is present. Along with the vaccine, you will get a certificate from your clinic stating that you have been immunised.
- When to get vaccinated: Consider a minimum of 10 days before your trip to get the vaccine. The certificate you receive will not be valid before these 10 days have gone by.
- Where to get the vaccine: The yellow fever vaccine is only available at registered yellow fever vaccination centres, such as travel health clinics and some pharmacies. Our travel clinic in Leeds is a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Center by the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). At our clinic, you will receive a Yellow Fever Vaccine Certificate as proof of immunisation. You can find other Yellow Fever Centers in England by visiting The Yellow Fever Zone website by NaTHNaC.
- How long it lasts: Once you’re vaccinated, you are protected for life. In very rare cases, you will need a booster dose to renew your certificate.
- Vaccine dosage: Most people only need one dose in the course of a lifetime.
- Vaccine Price: Please visit our vaccine prices page for updated prices. In other clinics, the vaccine costs typically between £65-85.
- What are the side effects: In almost one-third of cases, the yellow fever vaccine could cause the following side effects. They should not last longer than two weeks:
- muscle pain
- mild fever
- soreness on injection area
- Very rare side effects include an allergic reaction and brain or internal organ damage. These will only happen in less than 10 cases for every million vaccines given.
- While the yellow fever vaccine can cause some mild side effects, the risk of not being vaccinated is much higher. Always get medical attention if you feel very unwell within the next two weeks after getting the vaccine.
- Who should get the vaccine? Adults and infants from nine months of age travelling to an area where yellow fever is found or a country that requires a certificate proving you’ve been vaccinated against yellow fever should get the jab at least 10 days before their trip. The following groups of people fall within the precaution group. This means the vaccine may be recommended for individuals in these groups following a risk assessment:
- babies under nine months of age – if the risk of being infected is high, babies six to nine months old could be vaccinated
- pregnant and breastfeeding women
- people over the age of 60
- people with weakened immune systems – such as those with HIV
- people with high allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients – for example, those with an egg allergy cannot get the yellow fever vaccine
Still not sure if you can have the yellow fever vaccine?
Your nearest yellow fever vaccination centre can provide advice on whether or not you need a vaccination certificate for the country you’re visiting. In some cases, an official exemption letter may be accepted by the countries that usually require you to have the certificate.
Are you traveling soon to a country where you will need a yellow fever vaccine certificate? Read on to find out all about Yellow Fever and how you can prevent an infection.
What is yellow fever?
Yellow Fever is a deadly viral infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes found in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and tropical South America, and the Caribbean. This disease is not curable as there is still no treatment for it, but it can be prevented by getting a vaccine.
As stated by the NHS, certain regions and countries where yellow fever is common will require all travellers to get vaccinated before visiting and to show a certificate of vaccination at the entrance border. However, bear in mind that even when a country has no requirement for yellow fever vaccination there still could be a risk of yellow fever transmission.
What are the symptoms of yellow fever?
The first symptoms of yellow fever usually appear three to six days after infection. In most mild cases, yellow fever symptoms can include headaches, fever, nausea and vomiting. A loss of appetite, muscle pain and backache, and light sensitivity can also develop along the first symptoms. Fatal heart, liver and kidney conditions are found in the majority of the most serious cases, however, most people see a recovery after three or four days of treatment.
In the worst cases fatal symptoms such as jaundice (the yellowing of the skin and eyes), bleeding from the mouth, eyes or nose, and vomiting or excreting blood could appear. Almost 50% of patients presenting these symptoms do not recover.
The yellow fever virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito that inhabits tropical and subtropical parts of the world. The mosquito acquires the virus by feeding on an infected primate (monkeys or humans) and is usually active between sunrise and sunset. You will not get yellow fever by having direct contact with an infected person.
Where is yellow fever found?
Yellow fever has been reported to have infected both humans and monkeys in the following regions:
- Central America
- The Caribbean
- Most of South America
- Most of Sub-Saharan Africa
If you or your family are travelling to any of the following countries, you should get vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days before your trip.
Central America & The Caribbean
- Argentina – (Misiones and Corrientes Province)
- French Guiana
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Congo, Democratic Republic of the
- Congo, Republic of the
- Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sierra leone
- South Sudan
To see detailed maps of the areas where yellow fever is present, visit the NaTHNaC website. Travellers should always consult the official Yellow Fever Annex by the World Health Organisation, for up to date yellow fever transmission risks and entry requirements.
Is yellow fever curable?
There is currently no cure available for yellow fever. However, it can be prevented by getting a vaccine against it or avoiding mosquito bites.
How can you prevent yellow fever?
Even if you’ve been vaccinated against it, if you’re travelling to a country or area where yellow fever is present it’s best to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito that could also spread diseases like malaria or dengue. Take extra care by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using repellent-sprayed mosquito nets to sleep, and spraying insect repellent regularly during the day.
How to prevent mosquito bites?
- Use insect repellent: If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
- Protect your child:
- Dress them in clothing that covers arms and legs
- Cover their crib, stroller and bed with a mosquito net
- Protect your child:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Buy a bed net that you can carry with you: It should be long enough to tuck under the mattress
- Stop mosquitoes from going indoors:
- Use mosquito nets/screens on windows and doors
- Choose hotels or accommodation with air conditioning when available
- Stop mosquitoes from going indoors:
- Prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs:
- Items that hold water, such as buckets, pools, birdbaths, trash containers, tires, planters, flower pots or toys need to be emptied and scrubbed, turned over or covered.