Yellow fever is a virus carried by mosquitoes. After infection, the virus incubates for a period of two weeks before manifesting symptoms. In its initial stages, the signs are remarkably similar to those of the flu – headache, fever, chills, and muscle ache. Infection typically requires hospitalization of the infected person.
Yellow fever infection falls into two categories – acute and toxic. Most cases involve acute symptoms which fade in less than a week as the immune system eradicates the virus cells from your body. A small percentage of those infected will reach the toxic stage of the disease – which has life-threatening consequences in 50-percent of all infections.
Fortunately, yellow fever is a preventable disease, and there are steps you can take to improve your chances of avoiding infection. If you’re traveling to a high-risk area for the disease, read through these eight prevention strategies to ensure you don’t become a victim of yellow fever infection.
1. Get Vaccinated
If you’re traveling to Africa or South America – check with the website of the local authority for admission requirements into the country. Many governments require to receive a vaccination before you arrive on their soil. Should you fail to get vaccinated, they may send you home upon your arrival.
The yellow fever vaccine is the best way to prevent infection with the virus. You’ll need to consult with your doctor six to eight weeks before your departure date. It takes some time for the body to get over the effects of the vaccine, and to build immunity against the virus – so, don’t leave it to the last minute.
The yellow fever vaccine is not for everyone. Certain individuals may develop adverse responses to the vaccination – such as a severe allergic reaction. Pregnant women or mother breastfeeding children are exclusions to immunization. Check with your doctor to see if you are eligible for the treatment.