Yellow fever is spread by mosquito bites and can be a serious condition. So try to avoid getting bitten by using mosquito nets, insect repellent containing 50% DEET, and wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs.
If you are travelling to an infected country, you must arrange your vaccination at least 10 days before you travel to allow it to take effect. The vaccine will provide lifelong protection.
Yellow fever is found in parts of Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Check affected areas on the Department of Health’s Yellow Fever Zone website.
Symptoms generally develop 3-6 days after infection and include:
- High temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Generally feeling unwell
- Nausea and sickness
- Muscle pain
- Being sensitive to the light
There is no cure for yellow fever, although the aches and pains can be treated with painkillers, and patients must drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
The majority of sufferers will make a full recovery after a few days, but a few go on to develop more serious symptoms (jaundice, vomiting blood, blood in stools, or bleeding from the mouth, nose or eyes) which will require hospitalisation as there is a 50% chance of fatality at this point.