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Yellow Fever Vaccine

A tropical disease called yellow fever is spread by infected mosquitoes. It can be found in tropical regions of the world, including Trinidad, some of Africa, and Central and South America.

What is yellow fever?

When a person is bitten by a certain species of infected mosquito, they can develop the virus known as yellow fever. Only twelve instances of yellow fever were recorded by European tourists between 1999 and 2018; it is a relatively uncommon cause of traveller sickness. The travellers in all twelve cases lacked vaccinations.

how can you contract yellow fever?

Mosquitoes carrying the Aedes aegypti virus are the source of yellow fever infections. This is why many tourists will take extra precautions, including utilising bug repellent, when visiting endemic areas.

When a monkey or sick person is bitten by a mosquito, the virus travels through their circulation and then lodges in their salivary glands. They then inject the virus into the host’s circulation when they bite another human or monkey.

symptoms of yellow fever?

Symptoms of yellow fever usually appear within 3-6 days of being infected and include:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Backache
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nausea and/or sickness

 

A small number of people will develop severe symptoms of yellow fever and of those, approximately half will die. These include:

  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine
  • Stomach pain with vomiting
  • Liver and kidney function issues

how is yellow fever treated?

Yellow fever has no known treatment. You should get vaccinated against yellow fever before flying, wear long sleeves and full-length trousers in areas where the disease is endemic, and carry insect repellent.

Since yellow fever has no known cure, it’s critical to be aware of its signs and symptoms so that you can manage them as your body battles the infection. Yellow fever symptoms can be treated with medications and staying hydrated. More severe symptoms could need hospital care.

yellow fever vaccine

A single injection of the yellow fever vaccine given in the upper arm gives lifelong immunity. Because it is a live vaccine, a weaker version of the virus is present. Your immune system is triggered, which enables your body to remember how to fight the virus if it encounters it again.

The primary yellow fever vaccine in the UK is Stamaril®, made by Sanofi Pasteur.

how long does the vaccine last?

For most people, a single dose of the vaccine is sufficient to protect against yellow fever for life. However, there are a small number of people who may be recommended a booster dose if they are visiting risk areas. These include those who:

  • Were pregnant when they had their first vaccine
  • Are under two years old
  • Are HIV positive
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Were vaccinated before a bone marrow transplant

side effects of the yellow fever vaccine

Some people may experience side effects from the yellow fever vaccine, but these are usually minimal and outweigh the risk of not being vaccinated. Common side effects of the yellow fever vaccine that can affect up to 1 in 3 people include:

  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • A temperature

 

You can take pain relief before your vaccination to help minimise side effects. You can also use it after you experience any of the above side effects.

The vaccine is not recommended for some people. The NHS states that the following people should not have the yellow fever vaccine:

  • Infants less than six months old
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • Pregnant women
  • People with severe allergies to egg protein
  • People who’ve had a severe reaction to a previous yellow fever vaccine
  • People with severe immunodeficiency due to symptomatic HIV/AIDS or other causes
  • People who have a thymus disorder
  • People who have a close relative who has had a severe reaction to the vaccine

countries that have yellow fever

Most yellow fever cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Some countries for which yellow fever vaccination is currently recommended prior to travel. You can check which countries require the yellow fever vaccination here.

where can i get the yellow fever vaccine?

We offer a yellow fever vaccination for £65/dose. You can book your appointment here.

extra tips to prevent yellow fever

Even after getting a yellow fever vaccination, there are still some additional precautions you can take to best protect yourself from contracting the virus:

  • Use a high-strength insect repellent spray
  • Cover your body, especially your hands, head, arms, and legs to prevent bites
  • Use screens on windows and doors and a mosquito net over your bed
  • Avoid going outdoors during peak mosquito hours
  • Treat your clothing and travel gear with a mosquito repellent that contains permethrin
  • Record all travel dates and destinations so you can more accurately detect any symptoms once you get home
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