The Current Risks of Yellow Fever for Travelers to Africa or South America

According to the CDC, yellow fever causes approximately 200,000 cases of disease each year, of which 30,000 of those infections end in death. Approximately 90% of yellow fever infections occur in African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, DRC, Cameroon, and Ethiopia.

This mosquito-borne illness is caused by a virus that survives best in tropical and subtropical climates, commonly located in South America and Africa.

While the severity of symptoms can greatly vary from person to person, most of the symptoms of yellow fever are mild to moderate, occurring 3-6 days following infection. The fever typically lasts for about a week in individuals who display symptoms.

The most common symptoms that manifest when an individual becomes infected with yellow fever include

  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Body aches, weakness, and fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Back pain

However, in some cases, individuals infected with yellow fever experience symptoms far more severe than typical illnesses. In serious cases, yellow fever can be fatal, and symptoms of severe infection include

  • High fever
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Organ failure
  • Shock

In cases where severe symptoms manifest, death occurs between 30-60% of the time. It is because of these risks that many regions in Africa and South America require visitors to have yellow fever vaccination before being permitted entry to the area.

The best possible protection against yellow fever lies in yellow fever vaccination. On top of being vaccinated against the illness, individuals traveling to high-risk areas are encouraged to use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants, and be aware of mosquito activity in the area they’re visiting. This way, they can avoid being outdoors during high-activity periods for the mosquitos in the area.

If you’re a frequent traveler or you plan to visit Africa or South America for the first time, you may be required (depending on region) to receive a yellow fever vaccination.

To begin protecting yourself against yellow fever during your travels, give Swift Urgent Care a call today. We serve individuals in and around the Morrow and College Park, GA areas and our provider, Dr. Bonsu, can help you ensure that you’re prepared for your upcoming trip.

Swift Health Urgent Care Center
Swift Health Urgent Care Center

5185 Old National Highway

College Park
United States

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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Web News Reporter journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.