What is Yellow Fever?
Like Malaria, Dengue Fever and Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever is a mosquito borne disease. The culprit in this case is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for some other nasty diseases including Dengue Fever.
Whereas mosquitoes are normally active from dusk until dawn and bite when it is dark, this particular type of mosquito is active and bites during the daytime.
What Are The Symptoms?
As with many tropical diseases, symptoms are flu-like and can include high fever, muscle and back pain, sweating, headaches, shivers, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea. Sufferers can experience sensitivity to bright light. In most cases the symptoms don't last long and the patient recovers rapidly.
However, with some people (around 15%) the infection can come back and if it causes liver damage this can result in yellow skin (jaundice), hence the name. In people who contract the more toxic stage of Yellow Fever, around half die within 10 to 14 days.
Because the symptoms are very similar to other tropical diseases, Yellow Fever can be difficult to diagnose.
How Is It Contracted?
The disease is contracted after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the disease. Mosquitoes pick up the virus after biting infected monkeys or people. Yellow Fever cannot be contracted directly from person to person.
Who Is At Most Risk?
Unvaccinated people who visit parts of the world where there is a high risk of contracting Yellow Fever and those with weak immune systems.
Where Are You At Risk?
Yellow Fever is prevalent in Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Thailand, where I live, is free of Yellow Fever, but all the conditions are right for it to be a big problem. The weather is hot and humid and there are lots of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
To prevent the introduction of Yellow Fever the Thai government rightly insists that visitors arriving from countries where the risk of Yellow Fever is high must have a certificate to prove they have been vaccinated against the disease. These include:
Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Congo Republic, Cote d' Ivore, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French-Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay.
Before you travel to another country always check the visa requirements and ensure you have everything required to be allowed into the country.
A vaccine is available and provides lifelong protection. In the UK it isn't free and there is a charge. The vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before travel.
To be allowed to enter certain countries it is necessary to show a cerificate stating that you have been vacinated against Yellow Fever. This certificate is issued when you are given the vaccine.
Many tropical diseases are transmitted via mosquito bites and even if you have been vaccinated it is very important to try to avoid being bitten. Always use mosquito screens and nets if available. Cover up with light clothing and use a DEET based insect repellent.
When Should You Be Vaccinated?
At least 10 days before you travel.
Does The Vaccine Have Any Side Effects?
Like most injections, some people may experience tenderness and redness at the site of the injection. Some people may suffer from headaches, fever, nausea, stomach pains or diarrhoea. There may be a mild rash and some muscle/joint/body aches and pains.
Source Of information
GlaxoSmithKline, Wikipedia, local doctors, local hospitals, newspaper articles, various.
Travel Related Diseases
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. Each link on the right will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.
Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.
If you wish to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.
Images of Thailand