Yellow fever - prevention in travellers

Amy A Neilson, Cora A Mayer
Australian Family Physician 2010, 39 (8): 570-3

BACKGROUND: Yellow fever is a mosquito borne flaviviral haemorrhagic fever endemic to parts of Africa and South America. One in seven patients develop severe, frequently fatal disease characterised by multi-organ involvement.

OBJECTIVE: This article outlines the clinical features, epidemiology, prevention and vaccine recommendations for yellow fever in order to assist the general practitioner when providing travel medicine advice to patients.

DISCUSSION: Travellers are at risk of yellow fever in endemic areas, especially in forested and rural regions and during urban outbreaks. In addition to antimosquito measures, it is important to prevent yellow fever by vaccinating where there is true risk, or where it is required by international health regulations. However, the vaccine is associated with rare but severe adverse reactions and the need for vaccination should be carefully evaluated.

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