Yellow fever in Africa

Yellow card

An outbreak of yellow fever in Abidjan, Africa, has infected 89 people and caused one death.

Republic of Côte d'Ivoire Health Minister Dr Eugène Aka Aouele said that everyone in the republic should ensure they are vaccinated against the disease.

The disease is transmitted by infected mosquitos and symptoms include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. According to the World Health Organization, the vaccine is extremely effective, safe and affordable and a single dose is sufficient for lifelong protection.

There are challenges facing Africa regarding verifying a person’s yellow fever status, with a recent report published in The Lancet indicating that it is possible to obtain a government-issued yellow fever vaccination certificate in Nigeria, without actually getting the Stamaril vaccine. This has threatened the epidemiological control of yellow fever. In response to this, the Nigerian Government introduced a new e-Yellow card that stores the vaccination history of the holder and was designed to put a stop to the proliferation of fake yellow fever cards.

Travel advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that pre-trip vaccinations should include the Stamaril vaccine for all travellers aged over nine months old. Travellers are advised to be vaccinated at least 10 days before they set off on their trip and should also take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.