Get vaccinated before travelling to yellow fever endemic countries: MOH advisory

A Brazilian woman receives the yellow fever vaccine at a public health post in Caratinga, Minas Gerais, on Jan 13, 2017.
A Brazilian woman receives the yellow fever vaccine at a public health post in Caratinga, Minas Gerais, on Jan 13, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) has urged those headed to yellow fever endemic countries to get vaccinated at least 10 days before travelling.

In an advisory issued on Tuesday (Feb 14), MOH cited the the case of Brazil, which had recently reported an ongoing outbreak of the disease, mostly in its rural areas.

As of last month, at least 40 people have died in the state of Minas Gerais, with Brazil's Health Ministry confirming at least 70 cases.

"Vaccination is the most effective preventive measure against yellow fever. The vaccine confers lifelong protection against the disease 10 days after vaccination. A booster dose is not required," MOH said.

It added that no cases of yellow fever have been reported in Singapore yet.

 

The disease is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, similar to the dengue and Zika viruses.

The majority of those infected are asymptomatic or experience only mild illness, with symptoms ranging from fever and chills to headaches, muscle aches, loss of appetite and nausea or vomiting.

In most cases, symptoms disappear after three to four days. A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within seven to 10 days.

Yellow fever vaccination is available at more than 100 GP clinics, as well as travel health clinics and at public and private hospitals.

The full list of clinics can be found here.

Those unable to get vaccinated on medical grounds are advised to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing long, covered clothing, applying insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire-mesh screens to keep out mosquitoes.

They should seek medical attention promptly if they develop symptoms related to yellow fever.

Below is the list of yellow fever endemic countries in Africa and Latin America.

Latin America

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

Africa

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Uganda