Yellow fever

yellow fever klm health services

Yellow Fever is a tropical infection disease caused by a virus and spread by mosquitoes (Aedus aegypti).  This disease only occurs in certain tropical regions of Africa and South America. Infection by this virus usually leads to a, not so serious, flu-like condition. However, in about 10% of cases patients can develop serious complications.

Where can you catch yellow fever?

Yellow fever is endemic to the tropical regions of Africa and South America, both inside the cities and outside them (rainforest).

What are the symptoms?

Three to six days after being infected the first symptoms can manifest themselves:

  • it feels like you have the flu
  • fever and shivering
  • nausea
  • muscle ache
  • backache
  • headache
  • feeling generally poorly

How can you avoid catching it?

Vaccination is the only way to get full protection against yellow fever. It comprises a single vaccination in the upper arm and gives you lifelong protection. However, the protection does not start until 10 days after you receive the vaccination. Children can also be given the vaccination. However, it is not recommended for very young children (younger than nine months) or for pregnant women.

Possibly compulsory

The yellow fever vaccination is compulsory in some countries for travellers arriving via a region in which the disease is endemic. Our Travel Clinics can give you a personalised advice.

To avoid problems at the border: check what the current status of the yellow fever advice is per country

It is wise to check this well before departure: some countries require a period of 10 days after vaccination before you are given access to the country. In that case, last-minute vaccination makes no sense.