Only humans and monkeys can contract Yellow Fever, yet the disease is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Currently, you can only contract Yellow Fever if you travel to South America’s tropical areas or certain regions of Africa (Saharan).
Yellow Fever is a virus that mimics the flu. Common symptoms are fever, headache, nausea, muscle pain, and backache. The symptoms tend to disappear after four days.
In 15% of those infected, the fever reappears and leads to hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever (bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes, and intestines.) If hemorrhagic fever hits, odds are high that the ailing patient will die within ten days. Those who are able to recover count themselves as being very lucky.
Anyone traveling to South America, Central America, and Africa must receive this vaccination. Be warned that children under six months of age and pregnant women cannot be given the Yellow Fever vaccine, so you will need to either leave your baby at home or delay your trip.
The Yellow Fever vaccine is given in one dose and boosters are necessary every ten years. The vaccine can cause brain encephalitis (swelling of the brain’s outer lining) damage in children less than six months of age; so do not expect your baby to be given the vaccination under any circumstances.
Otherwise, the vaccine is risk free and 95% effective. Less than 5% of those vaccinated every year experience a mild headache or muscle pain where the shot occurred.