Yellow fever is a mosquito borne viral infection is only found in South America and Africa. It is one of the few diseases for which proof of vaccination may be required for entry to many countries around the world. Travel Health Plus is a Yellow Fever licensed clinic, our doctors and nurses all having completed the Department of Health’s Yellow Fever vaccination course.
Yellow Fever is a descriptive term for yellow jaundice associated with liver failure as a result of the illness.
There is no treatment.
Following a brief incubation period, fever, muscle aches, lethargy develop. As the liver fails, yellow Jaundice appears. There is no cure and the mortality rate is approximately 20%.
Mosquito avoidance measures are most important.
Yellow fever vaccination is very effective and so far has helped stop the spread of this illness to Asia.
If you are visiting a yellow fever country and at risk from the disease, vaccination will generally be advised. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may also be required by countries you subsequently enter, including Australia. Yellow fever does not occur in Australia, however, we have the same mosquito which can transmit the disease so have a program to prevent its introduction.
A decision to not have the yellow fever vaccine can result in problems for onward travel, including being refused entry to a country, quarantined at your own expense, missing flight connections or being vaccinated on arrival as well as contracting the illness if in a risk area. If for medical reasons you cannot be safely vaccinated, you will be issued with a medical contraindication certificate.
Yellow fever vaccinations in Australia must be provided by an approved yellow fever vaccination clinic. These clinics will provide a vaccination certificate in the form approved and required by WHO. Yellow fever vaccine exemptions can also only be issued by a licenced centre. The vaccine is not available in pharmacies.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is valid for life (although prior to 2016 a 10 year expiry applied)
The yellow fever vaccine is considered to be safe for the majority of travellers (WHO 2011). About 1 in 4 may experience mild flu like symptoms for a couple of days, 4-5 days later. 1% may be bed-bound for a day. On average, 1: 100 000 yellow fever vaccines may experience a delayed severe, even life-threatening reaction. This chance increases in the older traveller by at least 2-3 times. This will be discussed in your consultation.
The vaccine is not given to people with a known anaphylaxis to eggs, who have a weakened immune system due to disease or medical treatment or with a history of thymus disorder. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women or infants aged under 9 months.
Vaccine side effect rates increase with age. Above the age of 60, the risk of Yellow Fever disease is carefully weighed against the risks associated with the vaccine.