Yellow Fever vaccinations are vital when travelling to certain countries within Africa and South America. This week on FAQ Friday, we discuss the ins and outs travelling to Yellow Fever endemic countries.
Welcome to another edition of FAQ Fridays with me, Nick Paul. Today we are going to be talking about Yellow Fever vaccinations, since it is a question we get asked from time to time.
Yellow Fever is a disease that is caused by the Yellow Fever virus, it is currently found only in tropical regions of Africa and South America. It’s spread by mosquitoes and causes fever, aches, pains and nausea and eventually liver damage which give sufferers a yellow complexion, hence the name Yellow Fever. Every year 200 000 people get infected with Yellow Fever and around 30,000 people die of it. It is predominantly within tropical Africa.
South Africa is a Yellow Fever-free country, as are all our immediate neighbors. It’s for this reason that our government requires anyone entering South Africa be vaccinated before you enter, if coming from a Yellow Fever endemic country.
You need to have a vaccination at least 10 days prior to departure on your trip, and your vaccination certificate is valid for 10 years. You obviously need to keep that certificate so that you can show the government when you arrive back in the country. If you lose it you may need to have another vaccination and certificate.
The following countries, which are popular tourist destinations for South Africans, are Yellow Fever endemic: Tanzania (Zanzibar), Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil etc.
That being said, certain people should not get vaccinated against Yellow Fever and therefore should not travel to Yellow Fever infected countries. These include infants younger than 9 months, pregnant or breast feeding mothers, elderly persons and oddly people who are allergic to eggs. The reason for this is that the Yellow Fever vaccine is cultivated within hen eggs and people with egg allergies may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
Some useful links:
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