Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever illustration

What is yellow fever?

A dangerous virus which infects travellers in Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean through mosquito bites. Can cause muscle pain, headaches, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting and occasionally death.

Yellow Fever illustration
Disease video poster image

Risk areas for Yellow Fever

Map of risk areas for Yellow Fever
  • Key fact

    A small number of people develop severe symptoms, half of which die as a result within 7 to 10 days.1

  • How do you get yellow fever?

    When bitten by mosquitoes carrying the virus.1

  • Which countries are affected by yellow fever?

    Most countries in Africa, and Central and South America (see map).2

  • What are the symptoms of yellow fever?

    Symptoms usually start after 3 to 6 days and last for 3-4 days.1 Not everyone experiences symptoms, but those that do can have a fever, muscle pain with backache, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting.1

  • How serious is yellow fever?

    In a small number of people the disease turns toxic in under 24 hours, becoming serious or even fatal, affecting the liver and kidneys. People may also experience jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, abdominal pain, and bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach.1

  • Can I prevent getting yellow fever?

    You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:

    • Visit your nearest convenient pharmacy or specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
    • Take steps to avoid mosquito bites when mosquitoes are most active (during daylight hours)1,3
    • Use a recommended insect repellent containing either 20% Picaridin (e.g Moskito Guard®), DEET, PMD or OLE, IR3535 or 2-undecanone3
    • Wear appropriate clothing (e.g loose fitting long-sleeved clothes, long trousers, socks and shoes) to minimise exposed skin4
    • Use mosquito nets if you are sleeping or resting in unscreened accommodation or sleeping outdoors during the day or night4

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References
  1. World Health Organization. Fact sheets. Yellow Fever. May 2018. Available online: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/yellow-fever (Last accessed April 2019)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book. March 2018. Available online: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever (Last accessed April 2019)
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2018. Chapter 2 The Pre-Travel Consultation. Counseling & Advice for Travelers. Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods. May 2017. Available online: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods (Last accessed April 2019)
  4. Public Health England. Mosquito bite avoidance for travellers. August 2017. Available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mosquito-bite-avoidance-for-travellers (Last accessed April 2019)

UK-BOTB-1900044 June 2019