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Yellow fever

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Caution NOTE: This is an article about health issues. While contributors do their best, we cannot take account of your individual health needs. Consult your doctor for individual medical advice.

Yellow fever is a potentially fatal tropical disease caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Illness ranges in severity from an influenza-like syndrome to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever. Yellow fever can be prevented by vaccination. Travellers to areas with yellow fever transmission should take precautions against exposure to mosquitoes.

Understand[edit]

Countries where yellow fever is endemic - with CDC vaccination recommendation (may be abbreviated) as of 2017 in brackets - are below. "High-risk" travellers are a small fraction of travellers whose travel plans or lifestyle expose them to more mosquito bites than average.


Africa

CDC map of yellow fever-endemic zones in Africa in 2009.
Country Traveller's Age Additional Comments
Angola over 9 mo.
Benin over 9 mo.
Burkina Faso over 9 mo.
Burundi over 9 mo.
Cameroon over 9 mo.
Central African Republic over 9 mo.
Chad over 9 mo. going to areas south of the Sahara
Congo: Democratic Republic of the Congo over 9 mo.
Congo: Republic of the Congo over 9 mo.
Côte d'Ivoire over 9 mo.
Equatorial Guinea over 9 mo.
Eritrea only high-risk travellers in certain areas
Ethiopia over 9 mo. not recommended for travellers who are not high-risk whose itinerary is limited to Afar and Somali provinces
Gabon over 9 mo.
The Gambia over 9 mo.
Ghana over 9 mo.
Guinea over 9 mo.
Guinea-Bissau over 9 mo.
Kenya over 9 mo. cities of Nairobi and Mombasa and certain other areas have lower risk of transmission
Liberia over 9 mo.
Mali over 9 mo. going to areas south of the Sahara
Mauritania over 9 mo. going to areas south of the Sahara
Niger over 9 mo. going to areas south of the Sahara
Nigeria over 9 mo.
Rwanda only for high-risk travellers
Sao Tome and Principe only for high-risk travellers
Senegal over 9 mo.
Sierra Leone over 9 mo.
Somalia only for high-risk travellers and only in certain regions
South Sudan over 9 mo.
Sudan over 9 mo. going to areas south of the Sahara outside of Khartoum
Tanzania over 9 mo. only for high-risk travellers
Togo over 9 mo.
Uganda over 9 mo.


Central America & South America

CDC map of yellow fever-endemic zones in the Americas in 2009.
Country Traveller's Age Additional Comments
Argentina over 9 mo. going to Corrientes and Misiones province, including Iguazú Falls. Recommended for high-risk travellers going to Formosa province and parts of Chaco, Jujuy, and Salta provinces.
Bolivia over 9 mo. travelling to certain areas below 2300m that are east of the Andes
Brazil over 9 mo. going to the endemic zone, which does not include Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo
Colombia over 9 mo. Not recommended if your itinerary is limited to Bogotá and San Andrés y Providencia department. If your trip is limited to these places and Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellín, the risk is lower and vaccines are only recommended for high-risk travellers
Ecuador over 9 mo. who are travelling to certain areas east of the Andes Mountains or for high-risk travellers in certain areas west of the Andes
French Guiana over 9 mo.
Guyana over 9 mo.
Panama over 9 mo. travelling east of the canal zone
Paraguay over 9 mo. outside of Asunción
Peru over 9 mo. travelling to many areas, especially east of the Andes Mountains; not recommended for travellers whose itinerary is limited to Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, and areas above 2300 meters.
Suriname over 9 mo.
Trinidad and Tobago over 9 mo. only if going to dense forests on Trinidad
Venezuela over 9 mo. except if only travelling to certain parts of the northern coastal area

Vaccination[edit]

A vaccine is available which provides immunity for at least ten years. Many countries will require that you be vaccinated against yellow fever if you are coming from a country where it is present or have been in such a country within the last 6 days (the incubation period). If this is the case you will need to present a "World Health Organisation International Certificate of Vaccination" with an appropriately dated certification on the "International Certificate of Vaccination or Revaccination Against Yellow Fever" page to immigration officials. This little yellow booklet will be given to you when you are vaccinated against yellow fever for the first time. Carry it with your passport: you'll typically present them to immigration officials at the same time.

It is generally easiest to get a yellow fever vaccination in your home country before you leave on your trip. The vaccination is not in the normal vaccination schedules of many countries outside the infected areas since it is unnecessary unless you are travelling and has a somewhat higher risk of complications than many other vaccines. You will need to especially request a yellow fever vaccination from a designated yellow fever vaccination center. Immunity is considered to start 10 days from the time of the vaccination, so be sure to get vaccinated 10 days before you enter an infected country. The vaccine is live and not entirely inactive: many people have mild flu-like symptoms for a couple of days after receiving this vaccine, so it would be good not to be planning anything strenuous in those days.

Depending on how the vaccine is cultivated, you may need to allow about half an hour for a yellow fever vaccination as you will be observed for an allergic reaction after it is administered.

Vaccination requirements[edit]

Some countries have mandatory yellow fever vaccination requirements. The exact requirements vary from country to country and may also vary from time to time. The following is a list of countries and territories which had yellow fever vaccination requirements as of 2017 according to the CDC. Countries requiring proof of vaccination upon arrival from all other countries (as opposed to only upon arrival from endemic countries) for all travellers more than one year old are marked below.

Among countries that require it upon arrival from endemic zones, some exclude a few individual countries or regions from this requirement, so look up the details for your specific destination or destinations. Some even require the vaccine if you change planes in an endemic country, even if you don't leave the airport. Others don't count airport layovers, or only care about them if they are longer than a certain number of hours.

Country Proof of Vaccination
Afghanistan from endemic zones
Albania from endemic zones
Algeria from endemic zones
Angola always
Antigua and Barbuda from endemic zones
Australia from endemic zones
Bahamas from endemic zones
Bahrain from endemic zones
Bangladesh from endemic zones
Barbados from endemic zones
Belize from endemic zones
Benin from endemic zones
Bhutan from endemic zones
Bolivia from endemic zones
Bonaire from endemic zones
Botswana from endemic zones
Brazil from Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Brunei from endemic zones
Burkina Faso from endemic zones
Burundi always
Cambodia from endemic zones
Cameroon from endemic zones
Cape Verde from endemic zones
Central African Republic always
Chad from endemic zones
China from endemic zones (no requirement for entering Hong Kong or Macau
Christmas Island from endemic zones
Cocos Islands from endemic zones
Colombia from endemic zones
Democratic Republic

of the Congo

always
Republic of the Congo always
Cote d'Ivoire always
Costa Rica from endemic zones
Cuba from endemic zones
Curaçao from endemic zones
Djibouti from endemic zones
Dominica from endemic zones
East Timor from endemic zones
Egypt from endemic zones
El Salvador from endemic zones
Equatorial Guinea from endemic zones
Eritrea from endemic zones
Ethiopia from endemic zones
Fiji from endemic zones
French Guiana always
French Polynesia from endemic zones
Gabon always
Gambia from endemic zones
Ghana always
Grenada from endemic zones
Guadeloupe from endemic zones
Guatemala from endemic zones
Guinea from endemic zones
Guinea-Bissau always
Guyana from endemic zones
Haiti from endemic zones
Honduras from endemic zones
India from endemic zones
Indonesia from endemic zones
Iran from endemic zones
Iraq from endemic zones
Jamaica from endemic zones
Jordan from endemic zones
Kazakhstan from endemic zones
Kenya from endemic zones
Kiribati from endemic zones
Kyrgyzstan from endemic zones
Laos from endemic zones
Lesotho from endemic zones
Liberia always
Libya from endemic zones
Madagascar from endemic zones
Malawi from endemic zones
Malaysia from endemic zones
Maldives from endemic zones
Mali always
Malta from endemic zones
Martinique from endemic zones
Mauritania from endemic zones
Mauritius from endemic zones
Mayotte from endemic zones
Montserrat from endemic zones
Mozambique from endemic zones
Myanmar from endemic zones
Namibia from endemic zones
Nauru from endemic zones
Nepal from endemic zones
Netherlands Antilles from endemic zones
New Caledonia from endemic zones
Niger always
Nigeria from endemic zones
Niue from endemic zones
Norfolk Island from endemic zones
North Korea from endemic zones
Oman from endemic zones
Pakistan from endemic zones
Panama from endemic zones
Paraguay from endemic zones
Philippines from endemic zones
Pitcairn Islands from endemic zones
Reunion from endemic zones
Rwanda from endemic zones
Saba from endemic zones
Saint Barthelemy from endemic zones
Saint Helena (island) from endemic zones
Saint Kitts and Nevis from endemic zones
Saint Lucia from endemic zones
Saint Martin from endemic zones
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from endemic zones
Samoa from endemic zones
Sao Tome and Principe from endemic zones
Saudi Arabia from endemic zones
Senegal from endemic zones
Seychelles from endemic zones
Sierra Leone always
Singapore from endemic zones
Sint Eustatius from endemic zones
Solomon Islands from endemic zones
Somalia from endemic zones
South Africa from endemic zones
Sri Lanka from endemic zones
Sudan from endemic zones
Suriname always
Swaziland from endemic zones
Tanzania from endemic zones
Thailand from endemic zones
Togo always
Trinidad and Tobago from endemic zones
Uganda from endemic zones
Venezuela from Brazil
Vietnam from endemic zones
Zambia from endemic zones
Zimbabwe from endemic zones
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