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Yellow Fever 


Yellow fever is found only in parts of Central and South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Yellow Fever Risk areas can be viewed on a map hereIcon Newwindow

Yellow fever is a viral infection that is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito which mainly bites during daylight hours.

The Illness

The incubation period is usually short, 3-6 days. Symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, backache, generalised muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and jaundice. Infection with yellow fever results in lifelong natural immunity in individuals who recover. Up to 60% of those infected with yellow fever will die from the disease.


There is no specific treatment for yellow fever virus.


Yellow fever vaccination is carried out for two different purposes:

  • To prevent the international spread of the disease by protecting countries from the risk of importing or spreading yellow fever virus. The countries that require proof of vaccination are those where the disease may or may not occur and where the mosquito and potential non-human primate hosts of yellow fever are present.
    • Proof of vaccination is most often required for travellers coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission (including, sometimes, for travellers transiting through such countries).
    • Some countries require proof of vaccination from all travellers and this will be indicated on individual country pages of fitfortravel. 
  • To protect individual travellers who may be exposed to yellow fever infection. As yellow fever is frequently fatal for those who have not been vaccinated, vaccination is recommended for all travellers (with a few exceptions) visiting areas where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission. An individual risk assessment is indicated for all travellers.

Please see the Yellow Fever Vaccine page for further information.

Recommendations for Travellers

Travellers are advised to use personal protective measures when entering areas where yellow fever is present. This includes using insect repellents and wearing appropriate clothing.

A vaccine called Stamaril is available for travellers to protect against yellow fever. In addition, certain countries have yellow fever certificate requirements. Please refer to individual country pages for information and certificate requirements.

Side effects following yellow fever vaccine are usually mild and can consist of fever, headache, nausea and diarrhoea, rarely, serious complications have been described with an increased incidence in the over 60s.

Further information on side effects and who to contact if you feel unwell can be found on the NHS Inform websiteIcon Newwindow

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) for StamarilIcon Newwindow also provides important infomation.

Locate your Nearest Yellow Fever Centre

Yellow fever vaccination can only be administered at designated yellow fever centres. To locate your nearest yellow fever centre please follow the links below:

Yellow Fever Centres Scotland

Yellow Fever Centres UK

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