What it is:
Yellow fever is a viral disease caused by the bite of one species of mosquito. Yellow fever typically occurs in sub - Saharan Africa and tropical South America where epidemic can occur. Symptoms of illness range from "flu-like" symptoms to severe fevers with the discharge of blood. Yellow fever can be fatal.
How you get it:
Certain areas of the world are considered yellow fever endemic areas because yellow fever is so widespread that there is a very high risk of travelers coming in contact with infected mosquitoes. In these areas, the highest risk of infection occurs during the rainy and early dry seasons.
How to protect yourself:
Protection from yellow fever is two-fold: (1) getting the yellow fever vaccine before you travel and (2) carefully following the personal protective measures against insect bites while you're traveling. The need for the vaccine will be based on your itinerary. Vaccination will be RECOMMENDED for some areas of travel and REQUIRED for others. For entry into some countries, yellow fever vaccination is a REQUIREMENT.
Where is it common:
Yellow Fever is common in West and Central Africa and in parts of Central and South America.
Who should get Yellow Fever vaccine:
Anyone who is travelling to areas with known Yellow Fever (West and Central Africa and in parts of Central and South America).
What to expect after vaccination:
Adverse reactions following yellow fever vaccine are typically very mild and consist of headache, muscle ache, low grade fever, and/or soreness at the injection site. Injection site reactions usually occur in 1-5 days after immunization. Severe allergic reactions (such as shortness of breath, lip or tongue swelling, difficulty breathing, encephalitis, etc) are rare.