Health authorities urge travellers to get yellow fever vaccination

The health promotion and infectious disease directorate reminded the public that they must get vaccinated at least 10 days before they visit countries where it is endemic

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

The health promotion and infectious disease directorate has advised members of the public travelling to countries where yellow fever is endemic to get vaccinated at least 10 days before their travels.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the directorate said that a single dose was sufficient to provide life-long immunity from the virus. People travelling to African and South American countries are at particular risk and should get vaccinated, the directorate said, adding that the vaccine was “safe and highly effective”.

Travellers are advised to contact the national immunization services at Floriana Health Centre on 25680222-3/21243314 for information.

It said that this was of particular importance for anyone travelling to Congo where a recent outbreak was reported in Pointe-Noire city. The republic of Congo also requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for all travellers aged nine months or older.

“People travelling to countries where yellow fever is endemic should also take the necessary precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes,” the directorate said. “This includes wearing long sleeve shirts and trousers, using insect repellent containing DEET and using bed nets when sleeping in infested areas. Staying in accommodations with screens and air-conditioned rooms will also reduce the risk of mosquitoes.”

It said the virus was transmitted by mosquitos infected with the virus and that it cannot be transmitted from person to person.

“If symptoms develop these include fever, general body aches, nauseas and vomiting. The severe form is characterized by high fever, jaundice, bleeding and in 10% of cases may result in death. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Treatment is symptomatic.”

List of countries with risk of yellow fever virus transmission (YFV)

Africa:

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda.

South America & Central America:

Argentina – Misiones Province, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador (excluding Galapagos Islands), French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad, Venezuela.

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