Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by a virus. For some people it can cause a flu-like illness which improves completely. However, for other people it causes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, jaundice and bleeding which can be fatal. There is no cure for yellow fever.
Yellow fever is passed to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes which tend to bite during daylight hours. (This is different to the mosquitos which carry malaria which tend to bite from dusk to dawn.) Yellow fever occurs in certain countries of tropical Africa and South America.
Who should be immunised against yellow fever?
Travellers over the age of nine months to countries where yellow fever is a risk. Some countries require an International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever before they will let you into the country. Yellow fever is the only disease which routinely requires proof of immunisation: In some countries immunisation is compulsory for all incoming visitors. In some countries immunisation is compulsory for those who have travelled from a 'yellow fever' area or country. Your doctor or practice nurse can advise if you should be immunised for your travel destination and whether you need this certificate of immunisation.
The vaccine and where can I get it?
You should have an injection of vaccine at least ten days before the date of travel to allow immunity to develop. A single dose of vaccine provides immunity for at least 10 years, maybe even for life. However, a booster dose (and a repeat certificate of immunisation) is recommended every 10 years if you are still at risk.
Yellow fever vaccine can only be given at accredited centres such as Midleton Medi Centre.