If you’re travelling this spring, be sure you take all of the necessary precautions

Back in 2016, a yellow fever outbreak occurred in Brazil. This lasted until September 2017, when the outbreak was at last declared over. However, since December 2017 there has been a significant rise in reported human cases and cases in non-human primate epizootics (cases in monkeys). This has resulted in a resurgence in yellow fever virus circulation, particularly in the Brazilian state of São Paulo.

What’s more, the numbers of reported cases of yellow fever in unvaccinated travellers who have travelled to at-risk areas in Brazil have also risen recently. On 22nd January 2018, reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed a case of yellow fever in an unvaccinated returning traveller who was currently in the Netherlands, but who had visited Atibaia and Mairiporã in São Paulo state from 19th December 2017 to 8th January 2018.

Another confirmed case of yellow fever was reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on 14th February 2018, this time in an unvaccinated French traveller who visited Brumadinho in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. And just five days later, on 19th February 2018, the Ministry of Health of Argentina reported a confirmed yellow fever case in an unvaccinated traveller who visited Ilha Grande in Rio de Janeiro state and Ilhabela in São Paulo state.

Then, on 20th February 2018, two fatal cases of yellow fever were confirmed in Chilean travellers who had visited Ilha Grande. A third case was also reported to have been hospitalised.

These examples tell us just how important it is to be aware of the risks of conditions like yellow fever, as a reminder that we should all practice caution and do whatever we can to avoid this potentially fatal affliction.

How to stay safe when travelling to at-risk areas

Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, meaning it is important to take all possible steps to prevent an insect bite when visiting at-risk countries. These precautions include packing protective clothing, insect repellents, insecticide-treated bed nets, plug-in insecticides and a first aid kit. It is also advisable to stay indoors during twilight and after dark.

Once contracted, yellow fever is not curable. This means that it is incredibly important to do everything you can to avoid suffering from the infection. Preventative measures are the best course of action for anybody travelling to at-risk areas such as Brazil.

You should research your destination thoroughly, checking for the exact level of risk you will be facing. This will help you understand which vaccinations you will be required to receive before you travel. Once you know, book an appointment to receive any necessary vaccinations with plenty of time to spare.

As a traveller, it is also vital that you know what warning signs to look out for. Symptoms of the condition will usually develop within three to six days after becoming infected. Common symptoms of yellow fever include a high temperature which can reach 38 degrees centigrade, headaches, muscles aches (especially in the back and knees), sensitivity to light, loss of appetite, dizziness, red eyes, red face, red tongue, nausea, vomiting or both. It is also common to experience jaundice (a yellow tinge to the skin and eyes) hence the condition’s name.

Express Travel Clinic is a registered Yellow Fever centre, so we can help ensure you stay safe to enjoy your travels. Contact the team at Express Travel Clinic today by calling 0208 993 58 89 or click here to book an appointment today.