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Yellow Fever

a.k.a Yella

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.

Key Fact

Half of those with a severe case of yellow fever die as a result.1

disease risk map

How do people catch the disease?

When they’re bitten by infected mosquitoes which carry the virus.1

Which countries are affected?

Many countries in South America, including parts of the Caribbean, and in West and Central Africa (see map).2

What are the symptoms?

Fever, muscle pain with backache, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting.1

How serious is the disease?

The disease is serious and can affect the liver and kidneys, cause uncontrolled bleeding, and be fatal.1

Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?

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)3
  • Use a recommended insect repellent containing either 20% Picaridin (e.g Moskito Guard®), DEET or PMD4
  • Wear appropriate clothing (e.g long-sleeved clothes and long trousers)3
  • Use physical barriers, such as bed nets and window screens3


1. World Health Organization. Factsheet. Yellow Fever. May 2016. Available online: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/ (Last accessed September 2017)

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2018. Chapter 3 Infectious Diseases Related to Travel. Yellow Fever. June 2017. Available online: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever (Last accessed September 2017)

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 September 2017)

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 September 2017)


UK/TRA/0817/0171i September 2017