Travelers’ Health and Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, chills, headache and muscle aches. Approximately 15 percent of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can sometimes be fatal. Destinations where people are most at risk are South Africa, South America and Nigeria. Some destinations require a certificate of proof for vaccinations against yellow fever upon entry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a level-2 travel alert for yellow fever in Brazil. Since early 2018, many unvaccinated, non-U.S. travelers to Brazil have been diagnosed with yellow fever, and several have died. Vaccination is now recommended for more regions in Brazil, including Ilha Grande, and the cities of Rio and Sao Paulo. Public health officials advise against travel to areas in Brazil where vaccinations are recommended, or any to country considered at risk for yellow fever, without first being vaccinated.

U.S.-licensed yellow fever vaccine is not currently available due to production limitations. In the U.S., a limited number of clinics have been selected to offer a safe alternative vaccine called Stamaril. Refer to the CDC’s clinic map to find the clinic closest to you. LEI Medical Group is not able to offer Stamaril at this time.

Preventing Yellow Fever

  • Talk to your doctor before travel
  • Get vaccinated at least 10 days before travel. Infants younger than 6 months old should not get the vaccine.
  • Prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, sleeping in an air-conditioned room, mosquito-proofing your house and getting rid of standing water where mosquitoes might breed.
  • Before travel, check the CDC’s Travel Health Notices on health risks in specific countries and regions.

LEI Medical Group’s medicine program offer first-class trip advisory, health monitoring services, and immunization such as influenza, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, meningitis, rabies and yellow fever (when available).

Additional Resources

WorkCare Fact Sheets

CDC Travelers’ Health

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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