Yellow Fever Global Update

by Wayne Ghesquiere on December 9, 2010

Travel Health Notice

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reminds travellers that yellow fever transmission occurs in tropical countries in South America and sub-Saharan Africa. All travellers are at risk if going to a destination where yellow fever occurs. Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter. Yellow fever is a serious and occasionally fatal disease. It is caused by a virus which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes.

Where is Yellow Fever a concern?

Yellow fever transmission occurs in Africa in countries on or around the equator. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported yellow fever activity in: Cote d’Ivoire, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, and Senegal Risk also exists in countries in South America, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Very low risk also exists as far south as Argentina and north to the Caribbean. A list of countries and a map of the areas where yellow fever transmission occurs are available from the World Health Organization.

Recommendations

Consult a doctor, nurse or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic at least six weeks before you travel. 1. Get vaccinated It is strongly recommended that you get the yellow fever vaccine before you travel to an area where there is a risk of yellow fever, even if your destination country does not currently require proof of vaccination to enter. The single-dose vaccine against yellow fever is safe, effective and recommended for most people who are over nine months of age. In Canada, the vaccine is available only at designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres. 2. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes that spread yellow fever usually bite during the day, particularly two to three hours after dawn and during the early evening.

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