Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites.
Heading to Africa, The Caribbean, Central or South America? You may need a Yellow Fever vaccination.
Geelong’s Park St Medical Practice is an approved travel health clinic with doctors who can administer Yellow Fever Injections.
Yellow Fever Risk
If you are travelling to at risk places, you should be aware of the risk of yellow fever virus transmission. It is important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the infection and get vaccinated. Yellow fever is considered to be endemic in 29 African countries and 13 Central and South American countries.*
You should receive a yellow card called the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxix (ICVP) to prove that you have had the yellow fever vaccine. Some countries require all travelers to show proof of yellow fever vaccination before they can enter the country. Other countries require proof of vaccination only if travelers have been in the risk area, so if you are visiting multiple countries, the order of travel may be important.
Proof of vaccination is not valid until 10 days after you get the vaccine, so plan to get the vaccine early if you need it.
What is Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitos.
It can lead to serious illness and even death.
It is called yellow fever because sometimes the skin turns yellow in colour – ‘jaundice’.
Symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and headache. This is known as the first stage. About 15-25%* of patients progress to the second ‘toxic’ stage with jaundice, bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death.
How long am I protected for?
A single dose of yellow fever vaccine now results in life-long immunity.
Travellers should ensure they are vaccinated no less than 10 days before entering the yellow fever risk area, due to protection beginning 10 days after the vaccination.
Once vaccinated, patients will be given a yellow fever vaccination certificate that can be presented when entering through Australia’s border control after visiting impacted countries.
Previously, a vaccination certificate lasted only 10 years. International yellow fever vaccination certificates presented at Australia’s border will now be accepted even if the vaccination was given more than ten years ago.
It is important to note, in rare cases, as in the recent case of a top British oncologist, Dr Martin Gore, the yellow fever vaccine can have serious and sometimes fatal side effects. People older than 60 years and people with weakened immune systems might be at a higher risk of developing these side effects. Also, there are special concerns for pregnant and nursing women. We will discuss this with you at your appointment. It is important to establish that the yellow fever vaccine is needed for the countries you are planning to travel to and that there are no contraindications to vaccination.
How else can I protect against Yellow Fever?
Whist the vaccine is almost 100% effective*, it is advised to avoid mosquitoes in affected areas.
The mosquitos that transmit yellow fever are usually active during the day.
- Wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET or picardin
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing
- Avoid wearing perfume or strong scents
- Use a mosquito net
Where can I get a Yellow Fever Vaccination in Geelong?
Not all GP’s are approved to administer Yellow fever vaccinations. You will need to see a Travel Doctor who is accredited.
Park Street General Practice, Geelong is an approved travel health clinic and Yellow Fever Vaccination centre.
Contact Park St General Practice for an appointment.
As the vaccination does not have a long shelf life, we may need to order it in. Please allow a 48-hour turnaround.
*Australian Government, www.health.gov.au Biosecurity Act 2015, CDC Website
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with a GP. Links to other (“third party”) websites are provided solely as a convenience and not as a guarantee or recommendation by Park Street General Practice for the services, information, opinion or any other content on such third party websites or as an indication of any affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of such third party websites.