What is the Yellow Fever and how to prevent it?
It is a virus caused by infected mosquito bites. Symptoms take between 3 to 6 days to appear and some are fever, headache, backache, chills, muscle aches or jaundice. This tropical disease usually affects liver and kidneys, and is often fatal.
The best way to prevent yellow fever is by getting the yellow fever vaccine. Alternatively you can avoid mosquito bites as much as possible by staying in air conditioned areas or wearing long sleeve shirts and pants covering most of your body. The use of a good DEET insect repellent is also a good Idea when traveling abroad.
Yellow Fever in India
Travelers going to India should not worry about this disease since there is no risk of yellow fever in India. However, besides requiring a valid India eTourist visa, the government of India requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. If you don’t have a valid vaccination certificate you will be kept in quarantine isolation for a period up to 6 days.
Valid Vaccination Certificate
To get a valid certification of yellow fever vaccination, you are required to bring your original passport and your international travel tickets. Persons exempted from a vaccination certificate: 1) Infants below the age of six months. 2) Any person suffering from some chronic illness. 3) Crew and passengers of an aircraft transiting through an airport located in yellow fever infected area provided the Health Officer is satisfied that such persons remained within the airport grounds during the period of stay.
When to get the Vaccine?
To make sure you are immunized before arriving in India, you should get vaccinated at least ten days before traveling. It is NOT advisable to take the vaccination in a Yellow Fever endemic country as it takes ten days for the vaccine to take effect.
How long is the yellow fever vaccine valid for?
The yellow fever vaccination certificate is valid for ten years. After 10 years you would need to get the vaccine again.
Countries regarded as yellow fever infected:
- Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d' Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan,Togo, Uganda.
- South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad (Trinidad only), Venezuela, Panama, Paraguay, Peru.
Remember, if you have traveled to any of the above countries before arriving to India you will be asked for a valid yellow fever certification.