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Yellow Fever Vaccine


Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes. Yellow fever can lead to serious illness and even death. It is called ‘yellow fever’ because in serious cases, the skin turns yellow in colour. This is known as ‘jaundice’. Yellow fever is a quarantinable disease in Australia.




Symptoms of yellow fever may take 3 to 6 days to appear. Some infections can be mild but most lead to serious illness characterised by two stages. In the first stage fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, headache and weakness occur. About 15 to 25 per cent of those with yellow fever progress to the second stage also known as the’ toxic’ stage, of which half die within 10 to 14 days after onset of illness. Visible bleeding, jaundice, kidney and liver failure can occur during the second stage.




By getting vaccinated with the Yellow Fever Vaccine


Yellow fever is preventable. The vaccine is safe and almost 100 percent effective. With few exceptions, vaccination is recommended for all travellers to countries or areas where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.


By avoiding mosquitoes


The mosquitoes that transmit yellow fever are usually active during the day. All people who travel to or live in yellow fever endemic countries are advised to avoid mosquitoes. This can be done by taking the following measures:


  • Wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET or Picaridin

  • Wear light coloured, long-sleeved clothes when you’re outdoors

  • Avoid wearing perfume or cologne (some of these can attract mosquitoes)

  • Prevent mosquitoes entering your accommodation

  • Use a mosquito net at night-time (if mosquitoes are likely to be present)

Do I need a yellow fever vaccination?


It is strongly recommended that all travellers be vaccinated for yellow fever if travelling to or from a yellow fever declared country. See: Where do I get a yellow fever vaccination and vaccination certificate.


People who are one year of age or older must hold an international vaccination certificate if, within six days before arriving in Australia, they have stayed overnight or longer in a yellow fever declared country.


As part of your travel arrangements it is strongly recommended that you check the yellow fever entry requirements for all the countries you intend entering, including those in which you will transit by contacting their foreign missions in Australia. The quarantine requirements for yellow fever vaccination differ markedly from country to country depending upon their relative risk exposure to the disease. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) web site lists contact details for diplomatic representatives of various foreign governments. DFAT’s Smartraveller web site also provides detailed travel information for each country.


If you have travelled through a yellow fever declared country, and you do not have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate, you risk being refused entry into many countries or may be required to be vaccinated upon arrival. If you are arriving in Australia from a yellow fever declared country but do not hold a vaccination certificate you will still be permitted to enter Australia without one.


Source: Australia Government Department of Health

yellow fever certificate
yellow fever areas
yellow fever endemic
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