Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito and cannot be spread directly from person to person. It is found in certain parts of Africa and South America.
Currently there is a Yellow Fever outbreak in Angola, it is spreading and has so far infected well more than 2,000 people, including imported cases to other countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo Kenya and China. The good news is that there is a vaccine for yellow fever. If you are traveling to areas at risk for the disease you need to be vaccinated and carry a certified Yellow fever certificate (Yellow Card).
The Yellow fever vaccine is a live-virus vaccine that has been used for several decades. A single dose provides lifelong protection for most people. Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for people aged 9 months and above who are traveling to or living in areas at risk for yellow fever virus transmission Where to get the Yellow Card You should only get the Yellow Card after you have undergone a yellow fever vaccination.
In Nigeria, the geniune vaccination can be obtained from General Hospitals, certified health centres, accredited hospitals and clinics. The Yellow Card is obtainable from the Port Health Services at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.
It is important to obtain the vaccine from a centre that is verified by the WHO. After the vaccine is given, the certificate will be filled out with your full name and as it is written on your International Passport. The physician’s name, date shot was given, hospital, stamp and signature must be clearly marked out because they may require verification. You need a Yellow Card if you are visiting a country that is endemic to yellow fever and you should get vaccinated at least 10 days before your trip so that your card remains valid.
Some countries, such as South Africa have eliminated yellow fever but still have the mosquitoes which can aid in the transmission of the disease. It is necessary to be vaccinated before visiting such countries.
If you have been vaccinated, but will be visiting or will be living within a yellow fever endemic zone, it may be necessary to get booster shots every 10 years. A new Yellow Card would be issued. You should keep your Yellow Card with you at all times. Ideally, it is advisable to keep it in your International passport. Visit a government hospital in your region today and get a Yellow Fever vaccination. Yellow fever vaccination requirements and recommendations for specific countries are available on the CDC Travelers’ Health page.
By: Sola Ogundipe
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