Why Have a Yellow Fever Vaccination Before Your Holiday?

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Why Have a Yellow Fever Vaccination Before Your Holiday?

24 November 2020
Health & Medical , Blog

If you're travelling to or through a country that has problems with yellow fever, then you might need to have a vaccination against the disease. While you might not be sure if this is essential, there are a couple of good reasons to have a jab. What are they?

Protect Your Own Health

Yellow fever is a mosquito based disease. If you get bitten by a mosquito that carries it, then you could get quite ill. The disease infects your liver. Even mild symptoms are troublesome. For example, you could end up with a high temperature, sickness, bowel problems, and aches and pains in various parts of your body. These problems might not last long, but they can spoil your trip and, after a period of remission, can come back and make you feel even more sick.

If you get a serious case of yellow fever, then your initial symptoms might come back more severely. You could also end up with jaundice as the infection attacks your liver. In extreme cases, the disease can cause liver and kidney failure; some people even die from yellow fever.

The problem is, you can't necessarily protect yourself 100% from being bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the disease. Also, there isn't a single treatment that will sort you out if you do catch it. So, it makes sense to play it safe and have a vaccination before you travel.

Avoid Problems on Your Trip

Some countries want you to show proof that you have had a yellow fever vaccination when you arrive in the country or cross a border. While this might not ultimately affect your travel plans, it could cause problems. For example, if you're trying to cross the border from a country with a high incidence of yellow fever, then you might have problems getting into a neighbouring country without a valid vaccination certificate. You might have to agree to be vaccinated locally before you are granted entry.

If you're in a country that doesn't have a great medical system, then you won't necessarily get the same safety standards you'd get at home. You don't have guarantees that your vaccination needle is sterile or single-use, for example. If you have your vaccination in good time before you head off on your trip, then you get the protection and the certificate you need. Your trip will go more smoothly.

To find out more about how to get a yellow fever vaccination, talk to your GP or travel clinic.