Yellow fever 

Infectious agent: Yellow fever virus

Main symptom(s): Visible bleeding, jaundice, kidney and liver failure

Where is it most commonly found?

Yellow fever mainly occurs in tropical areas of Africa and South America. It’s considered endemic (always present) in 32 African and 13 Central and South American countries.

How are you likely to catch the disease?

Through mosquito bites.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

The vaccine is recommended for all travellers over nine months of age travelling in or pass through any country in West Africa, and also if travelling outside urban areas of other yellow fever-endemic countries. If you have a child of less than nine months travelling with you, ask your GP or other health professional for advice.

How is the vaccination given?

The yellow fever vaccine is a single dose injection, preferably given at least 10 days before you travel. Yellow fever vaccinations must be provided by an approved yellow fever vaccination clinic. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is valid for 10 years and begins 10 days after vaccination. To find your nearest yellow fever vaccination clinic, please contact your state or territory health department.

How long will the vaccination protect you for?

A booster is required at 10 years if you are still at ongoing risk.

Other protective measures you can take

It’s important to take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. This may include wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs, regularly applying an appropriate insect repellent and staying in mosquito-proof accommodation.