1. What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be spread directly from person to person. It is found in certain parts of Africa and South America.

Yellow fever can cause:

People with yellow fever disease usually have to be hospitalized.

2. How can I prevent yellow fever?

Yellow Fever Vaccine:

Yellow fever vaccine can prevent yellow fever.

After receiving the vaccine, you should receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card) that has been validated by the vaccination center. This Certificate becomes valid 10 days after vaccination and lasts for 10 years. You will need this card as proof of vaccination to enter certain countries. Consult your health department or visit CDC’s travel information website at http:// to learn the travel requirements for different countries or to find the nearest approved vaccination center.

Please make sure you discuss your travel itinerary with your doctor or nurse before you receive your yellow fever vaccination.

Other Preventive Measures :

As with any disease transmitted by mosquitoes, precautions and insect repellent are also recommended to prevent exposure to yellow fever virus. These precautions include remaining in well-screened areas, wearing clothes that cover most of the body, and using effective insect repellent (i.e., containing up to 50% N,N-diethylmetatoluamide [DEET]) on skin and clothing.

3. Who should get yellow fever vaccine?

Information about known or probable infected areas is available from the World Health Organization (, the Pan American Health Organization (, and CDC (

If you continue to live or travel in yellow fever-endemic areas, you should receive a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine after 10 years.

Yellow fever vaccine may be given at the same time as most other vaccines

4. Who should not get yellow fever vaccine?

If you are 65 or older, discuss with your physician the risks and benefits of vaccination in the context of your risk for exposure to yellow fever virus based on your destination.

If you cannot get the vaccine because of a medical reason and proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for your travel, your doctor can give you a waiver letter. When planning to use a waiver letter, you should also obtain specific advice from the embassy of the country or countries you plan to visit.

If you cannot get the vaccine, discuss with your doctor other ways to prevent yellow fever.

5. What are the risks from yellow fever vaccine?

A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

Reactions are less likely to occur after a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine than after the first dose.

If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last for 5-10 days. In studies, they occurred in as many as 25% of vaccine recipients.

6. What if there is a moderate or severe reaction?

What should I look for?

Look for any unusual condition, such as a high fever,behavior changes, or flu-like symptoms that occur 1-30days after vaccination. Signs of an allergic reaction caninclude difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing,hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizzinesswithin a few minutes to a few hours after the shot.

What should I do?

7 How can I learn more?

Ask your doctor or nurse. They can show you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
Call your local or state health department.
Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):