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What is Yellow Fever and how to get the Yellow Fever Vaccine

Yellow Fever and how to get the Yellow Fever Vaccine

The shanty, congested, and clinically dirty regions of Africa and South America are the breeding grounds of Infected mosquitoes. Thousands of locals and many foreigner visitors get infected by the yellow fever each year. Many volunteers and health workers from the different countries and organizations come to these regions after getting the Kenya visa from the Kenya government to help infected people and to help local peoples to prevent disease. Do you know that this virus is similar to the flu and can create some disturbing situations?

Do you have an idea that you can be prevented from visiting those dream destinations you’ve ever imagined off because you don’t possess the Yellow Card?

Though the virus of yellow fever is lethal it's curable. There is a vaccine for its remedy and some medical treatments to increase the immunity of the patients. 

Know all the things which are essential to know for your safety and can save your family and friends too from this gruesome virus which can be a solid cause of death. So, let’s dive deep into the topic.

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is endemic which is widespread in parts of Africa and South America. It’s an acute viral hemorrhagic disease that weakens the body with symbols of jaundice. Usually, the infected mosquitos are the well-familiar cause of yellow fever.

Yellow fever disease is lethal in many ways. First, it yellowed all the skin and the eyes of the infected person, second, it weakened the body with nausea and flu-like symbols, and third, it can drastically fragile the body which can lead to an abrupt death.

Despite all the new technological advancements yellow fever is curable through vaccination only. If not vaccinated on time it can lead to some drastic situations.

Typical Causes of the Yellow Fever

The famous reason and cause of yellow fever is the biting of an infected mosquito to a human body. The virus which causes yellow fever is known as the Flavivirus. The mosquitoes become infected when they bite an infected monkey or a human. Yellow fever is not transmutable through human-to-human contract but it is lethal when the infected mosquito bites.  

Generally, the mosquitoes breed in the humid, around the bodies of still water, and tropical rainforests are infamous for infected mosquitoes. If any community is not vaccinated with the yellow fever vaccine it can be infected through mosquito biting. 

Countries who are at Risk of the Yellow Fever

Any country which is not vaccinated, has sewage problems, congested spaces, and a large number of people in small houses without any care for cleanliness are prone to yellow fever.

According to the famous report of the world health organization around 200,000 people are infected with yellow fever each year. A large number of cases were detected in the 32 countries of Africa, including Sierra Leone, Rwanda and 13 countries in Latin America. But the virus is not contained in these areas as it can spread with the movement of the infected mosquitoes.

How to recognize the Symbols of the Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is hasty in showing its symbols after a person gets infected from it. The development of yellow fever is quick and a person can feel its explicit symbols within three to six days after exposure. Its symbols are in parallel to those of influenza.

Yellow fever initially will cause fever, joint aches, muscle aches, headaches, and chills. If not treated well then it can lead to a more drastic case.

What is the Acute phase of Yellow fever?

After the initial phase of yellow fever comes the acute phase where the infected person bears the pain and suffering of the infection. Most people recover from this phase of yellow fever which lasts for three to four days.

Common symptoms of the acute phase of yellow fever are as follows:

  • Flushing
  • Backaches
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Shivers
  • Joint aches

What is the Toxic Phase of the Yellow Fever?

The complicated nature of yellow fever makes it more hazardous and harmful for the infected persons. The symptoms of the acute phase of yellow fever can disappear up to 24 hours.

After 24 hours if symptoms return then this will only exacerbate the condition of the infected person more. The returning with additional symptoms of the acute phase is known as the toxic phase which leads to death if not treated calculatedly.

The insidious symptoms of the toxic phase are as follows:

  • Bleeding from eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Decreased urination
  • Delirium
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

This phase of the disease is lethal and can lead to death. But the sources tell that only 15% of the infected people enter this fatal phase of yellow fever.

What is the result of the infection of Yellow fever?

This is very clear that Yellow fever is lethal and often leads to death but according to the World Health Organization, 50% of the people with severe and toxic symptoms of yellow fever will die.

Especially senior people and adults with already compromised immune systems are at greater risk when contracted yellow fever.

How was the initial yellow fever treated?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to treat yellow fever except the yellow fever vaccination. But there are ways to mitigate the repercussions of yellow fever through proper care and medical treatment to recover the patients from the fatal effects.

To strengthen the immune system and to heal the body following steps are usually taken by the physicians.

  • In case of kidney failure dialysis is prescribed
  • Injections of the fluids through the veins
  • Blood transfusions
  • Blood pressure maintenance
  • Getting oxygen

Can Yellow fever be prevented from developing?

If you have the symptoms of yellow fever then bear in mind that there’s no way to treat it except by getting the yellow fever vaccine. Yellow fever vaccine is a live vaccine and it consists of the weekend cells of live yellow fever. 

The yellow fever vaccine is injected with a single shot and this single shot is enough for lifelong protection. 

Who can get the yellow fever vaccine?

There should be tangible symptoms of yellow fever so that the yellow fever vaccine can prove to be impactful against the virus. The formal recommendations from the centre for disease control and prevention CDC and World health organization (WHO) are as follows;

  1. a)     People who can travel to the areas which are prone to yellow fever and have their age between 9 months and 59 years must have to vaccinate themselves with the yellow fever vaccine to get protection against the infection. 
  2. b)     The scientists, nurses, laboratory personnel, and doctors who care working with the patients in the healthcare institutes must have to be vaccinated against yellow fever to sustain the process of detection and elimination of yellow fever. 

Discuss these things before getting the Yellow Fever Vaccine!

You can’t jump into the healthcare institutes to get your vaccination before the verification and confirmation from the specialist that you even need the yellow fever vaccine or not. And even when you’re in drastic need of the yellow fever vaccine then why should you not take the vaccination of yellow fever?

You should tell your healthcare specialist if you have any of the following problems:

  • Life-threatening allergies
  • Pregnancy
  • Has gotten vaccination in past 4 weeks
  • Thymus disorder
  • Fragile immune system

If you have some mild illnesses then you can get the vaccine but in case there is some severe problem then you should wait until you recover completely from the existing illness to avoid any reaction from the yellow fever vaccine.

You don’t need to take any decision whether you should take the yellow fever vaccine or not. Leave this decision to your healthcare provider.

What are the possible reactions to the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

Although the vaccine is a perfect antidote to yellow fever there are sporadic reactions that can occur after the vaccination. Some of the highlighted reactions which can occur after vaccination are as follows;

  • Fever can happen
  • Redness, swelling, and soreness where the jibe of yellow fever vaccine is implemented are common to appear
  • muscle pain and headache can sometimes occur

Some serious reactions after the yellow fever vaccine can happen also such as:

  • Inflammation of the brain which is known as encephalitis
  • Organ dysfunction or failure

Teenagers and adults have strong immune systems who have the resistance to bear the side-effects of the yellow fever vaccine but the older and senior people having the weak immune system are susceptible to the serious reactions of the yellow fever vaccine.

Sometimes after taking the yellow fever vaccine you can feel dizziness and can also feel a ringing voice in your ear. If you feel some faintness and enervation then quickly try to expose it before the medical staff so that they can provide some additional care.

Do I need any documents to get the jab of the Yellow Fever Vaccine?

No, you don’t need any official documents to get the jab of the yellow fever vaccine. You just need to have some valid reasons and some authentic proof that you either have yellow fever or you are going to visit a place with the danger of yellow fever in the coming few days. This will give proof to the doctors to give you the yellow fever vaccine. Especially if you are going to visit South America and Africa then it would be a must for you to get the yellow fever vaccine to have an essential immunity against infectious mosquitoes.

Otherwise, some tangible symptoms like the nausea, headache, loss of appetite, seizures, muscle ache, dizziness, pale color, and jaundice would be enough to get your yellow fever vaccine jab.

What is the International Certificate of Vaccination?

As you have deciphered that the yellow fever is lethal and can cause brutal death because of the lethality of the disease so to prevent such a fate the only solution is the yellow fever vaccine.

The scarcity of the yellow fever vaccine makes its availability only to the selected vaccination centers. When you will get the jab of the yellow fever vaccine, the medical staff will award you an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis which you can call the yellow card also.

During traveling to your dream destinations this yellow card will ensure your safe and easy entry without any obstruction. This yellow card is essential to break the chain of infections due to the biting of the infected mosquitoes. 

In case you don’t possess this international certificate of vaccination then you might have to wait for 6 days to avoid the yellow fever infection or you may have to get your jab of yellow fever vaccine to prevent yellow fever.

To utmost care, you must have to abide by the rules of vaccination which state that after getting the jab of the yellow fever vaccine you are not allowed to donate your blood to avoid the infection from spreading.

What? Because of the medical reason you can’t take your jab of Yellow fever vaccine?

There’s always a possibility that you may not get the jab of the yellow fever vaccine because of underlying medical problems. In this case, you can face some serious issues in entering the countries and destinations which make it mandatory to show the international certificate of the vaccination. 

In this peculiar case, your doctor will give you a Medical Contraindications to Vaccination section of your yellow card which will act as a permission letter for your comfortable entry to the destination. But to take full advantage of these facilities you need to contact the embassies of the concerned countries to get a waiver of the yellow card

How much validity does an international certificate of vaccination have?

Through an amendment, in May 2014 the validity of the yellow fever vaccine was enhanced from 10 years to the whole life period of the person vaccinated. This new amendment was applied forcibly on 11 July 2016 and stands valid in all counties of the IHR states

Because the countries make it an essential condition for the travellers from the yellow fever regions for their safety and this new amendment can ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine and the safety of the person vaccinated. 

Which countries need the Yellow card?

Yellow fever is not transmutable through person-to-person contact but the infected mosquitoes are the prime source of yellow fever. To save the lives of the masses the countries have regulated some rules to get the jab of the yellow fever vaccine to avoid any unexpected situation for the greater good of the people. 

Some countries demand the International Certificate of Vaccination to enter their country without providing them the jab of the yellow fever vaccine. These countries include; Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verdi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republican, Chad, China, Christmas Island, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Curaçao, and many other countries. 

To know exactly whether your destination needs the International Certificate of Vaccination or not read this document meticulously. 

Most of these countries have implemented the Yellow card only for those travellers who come from the areas crippling with yellow fever infection or have their stay in the yellow fever infected areas. To counteract yellow fever, they maintain strict policies.

Can the Yellow Fever be prevented from happening even?

As much as we know to counteract yellow fever the only thing, we can do is to prevent the bite of the mosquitoes. To do so follow these steps;

  1. a)     You can use insect repellent. The most effective way to do so is to use the insect repellents recommended by the Environmental protection agency. Whichever insect repellent you would use make sure it contains one of the following as an active ingredient according to the EPA
  • 2-undecanoate
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • DEET
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • IR3535
  • Picaridin
  1. b)     To avoid the biting of the wild infected mosquitoes, try to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Doing so will protect the body from exposure and biting and will help to contain yellow fever substantially. 
  2. c)     You can wash your clothes with 0.5% of the permethrin which will act as a resistant wall between you and the wild infected mosquitoes. You can wash the tends, boots, pants, and clothes for your protection. You should know that permethrin is an insecticide that will repel the mosquitoes from even coming near to you. 
  3. d)     You can use a mosquito net to avoid contracting with the infected mosquitoes. Try to select a mosquito net that has 156 holes per square inch with white colour and rigid bottom. This will give you comfort and safety from yellow fever. 


After reading this thought-provoking article, you have familiarized yourself with many aspects of yellow fever and how much it is lethal and a threat to the life of the infected person.

Though there are big pharmaceutical companies that are searching for more robust remedies and methods to cure patients of yellow fever.

So far, we have the yellow fever vaccine which is a perfect antidote against the maladies of the mosquito bite. Though we can overly prevent even the biting but the measures to treat those with the virus are necessary.

If you have the international certificate of vaccination or Yellow card you can visit the countries that have made it essential to show the certificate of getting the yellow fever vaccine for entry to their country.

So, try to avoid the first step of contracting the infected mosquitoes which are pervasive in Africa and South America.





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