Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Disease Icon Yellow Fever

Question Mark Disease Icon What is it and how is it spread?

Yellow fever is a viral infection spread between monkeys and humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.1,2 It is found in two so-called yellow fever zones; in tropical parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Central/South America. Worldwide, around 200,000 cases of yellow fever are thought to occur every year, mostly in Africa, leading to about 30,000 deaths.2

Who is at risk from Yellow Fever icon Who is at risk?

Yellow fever is rare in western travellers. The last reported case in the UK was in London in the 1930s.2 You are at higher risk of infection if you stay in the affected area for longer, travel during the late rainy season to early dry season, or take part in activities that might increase the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes during the day.2

What are the symptoms of Yellow Fever? What are the symptoms?

Early symptoms of yellow fever appear around 3–6 days after the mosquito bite and include muscle pain, a high temperature, headache, loss of appetite, nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting.1,2 Many people make a gradual recovery 3–4 days after symptoms begin.2,3

In a small number of cases, within 24 hours of an apparent recovery, the disease can get worse. Symptoms may include bleeding from the mouth, eyes, ears and stomach, severe yellowing of the skin and eyes and major organ damage.2 20-50% of people who develop this form of the disease do not survive.2

How can Yellow Fever be prevented Icon How can it be prevented?

If you are visiting areas affected by yellow fever you should make every effort to avoid mosquito bites. To help prevent mosquito bites, NHS advice is to apply an appropriate insect repellent, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs, use mosquito nets, and avoid areas like ponds or swamps as mosquitoes are commonly found near water.4

A yellow fever vaccine is available. In general, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for all persons visiting countries that are at a high risk of transmission of the disease.2 Depending on your destination, you may require a certificate to show you have received a vaccine against yellow fever. Speak to your Healthcare Professional for further information once you have decided which country/countries you are going to.2

How can Yellow Fever be treated Icon How can it be treated?

There is no specific treatment for the yellow fever virus.1

Further Information Icon Where can I get further information?

If you have any questions or concerns about exposure to yellow fever, please speak to your doctor or a travel health practitioner for more information.

Make sure you contact your GP or travel health practitioner in plenty of time before you travel to discuss the ways you can help to keep yourself healthy whilst away. You should try and contact them at least 4–6 weeks before your trip.

After your trip, you should contact your GP if you develop a fever or notice any other unusual symptoms.

The information provided is a summary that was up to date when this article was published; however, recommendations may be updated from time to time. Please always consult with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist well in advance of travelling.


1. Fit For Travel. Yellow Fever. Available at: Accessed February 2024. 2. Travel Health Pro. Yellow Fever. Available at: Accessed February 2024. 3. WHO. Yellow Fever. Available at: Accessed February 2024. 4. NHS. Insect Bites and Stings. Available at: Accessed February 2024.

MAT-XU-2203072(v2.0) | February 2024

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