Yellow Fever

Travelling takes us out of our comfort zones and inspires us to see, taste and try new things. Unfortunately it does come with a few risks. Here we explain a bit more about yellow fever.

What is yellow fever & how do you catch it?

Yellow fever is a serious infection spread through the bite of a mosquito. The mosquitoes that have the virus are usually found in towns and rural areas, and tend to bite during the day. Areas where there’s a risk of yellow fever are:

  • Most of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Most of South America
  • Parts of Central America
  • Parts of the Caribbean

Some countries require proof of the vaccination to enter the country.

TravelHealthPro: maps of where yellow fever vaccine is recommended

Signs & symptoms

In the early stages (generally three to six days after being infected) yellow fever symptoms include:

  • High temperature
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle pain and backache
  • Eyes being sensitive to light
  • Loss of appetite and feeling generally unwell

The majority of people who contract yellow fever make a full recovery after three or four days. More serious symptoms include:

  • Yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose or eyes
  • Vomiting blood or blood in stools

When symptoms reach this more serious stage, consequences can be fatal so seek medical attention immediately.


If you’re travelling to an area with a risk of yellow fever there’s a highly effective vaccination given as an injection in the upper arm. The vaccination needs to be administered at least 10 days before travel to allow it time to work. If you or your child has had the MMR vaccine, you or they ideally need to wait at least 4 weeks before having the yellow fever vaccine.

In some cases, people who have the vaccine can experience minor side effects, which can include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • A mild fever
  • Soreness around the injection

The vaccination has also been associated with some more serious side effects which are very rare. It’s important that you’re aware of these, but also that the serious consequences of contracting yellow fever can be fatal. You can discuss in detail with our clinician at your appointment.

We are a registered Yellow Fever Vaccination centre and give the certification required for travel.

How long does the yellow fever vaccination last?

The yellow fever vaccination provides lifelong protection and certificates are valid for life. Booster injections aren’t needed for most travellers. If you’re not sure if or when you had the yellow fever vaccination or you think you need a booster, our clinicians will be able to advice you further.

Travel & Immunisation Clinic

Signs and symptoms

Those who have picked up the cholera bacteria don’t always have symptoms, but these are some of the typical symptoms you should expect:

• Severe, watery diarrhoea

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Stomach cramps

Cholera symptoms can occur after just after a few hours, but generally develop within a few days of picking up the infection. If untreated, dehydration from severe diarrhoea and vomiting can quickly take effect, causing the body to go into shock because of a big drop in blood pressure.


If you are travelling to a country known to be affected by cholera, here are a few ways you can help protect yourself:

• Only drink boiled or sealed bottled water

• Avoid ice in your drinks and ice creams

• Wash (in safe water) or peel uncooked fruit and vegetables

• Avoid shellfish, seafood and salads

Practice good personal hygiene measures – always wash your hands in safe water before eating and visiting the bathroom


The risk to most travellers is very low and vaccination is usually only recommended in the following circumstances:

• Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks are likely

• Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps or areas affected by natural disasters

• Those travelling to countries experienacing cholera outbreaks and where care with food and water is difficult or not possible

The drinkable cholera vaccine is given in two or three (depending on age) separate doses, taken from one to up to six weeks apart and completed at least a week before travelling.

Corporate Discount

We offer a 10% discount for our corporate customers and for all travellers in the charity sector. Whether you’re looking for corporate flu vaccinations or need travel vaccinations for your staff, our team of nurses and pharmacists can help. 

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