Yellow Fever Outbreak in Brazil Continues

An ongoing Yellow Fever outbreak in Brazil (since July 2017) has resulted in  545 confirmed yellow fever cases and 164 deaths. Recently this has also resulted in Yellow Fever cases being reported in the Netherlands, Argentina and France, all in unvaccinated travellers returning from Brazil to their country of origin.

This provides a great segue into one of the many issues surrounding Yellow Fever, the reasons to vaccinate against it and why you need to have an appointment with a Yellow Fever approved provider to discuss your itinerary.  The Aedes aegypti mosquito, responsible for the transmission of Yellow Fever, is not found in France and the Netherlands. For these particular travellers there was a risk of disease (very real and potentially fatal) but no requirement by either France or the Netherland governments for them to provide proof of vaccination on re-entry. Simply because there is no risk of them passing it on to anyone else.

In countries where Aedes aegypti is active the risk is that a traveller returning with Yellow Fever is bitten by an aedes mosquito who then goes on to bite subsequent people who become infected, who may then also be bitten….. And so an outbreak occurs. As a general rule these countries have a Yellow Fever vaccination requirement to prevent the introduction of the disease – and yes  Australia has the aedes mosquito too, which is why we are required to show proof of vaccination if returning from a designated country of risk.