The New York Center for Travel and Tropical Medicine is a WHO Certified yellow fever vaccine center. Our International Travel Health Clinic signs and stamps the international certificate of vaccination (ICV). The yellow fever virus can be contracted in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. People can become infected with the virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Yellow fever illness can be severe. In addition to using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing, people should get vaccinated to prevent infection by the yellow fever virus.

Yellow Fever Q & A

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a serious and potentially deadly viral infection which is spread by certain mosquitoes and is most common in parts of Africa and South America. The mosquitoes that spread the disease are most prevalent around human settlements and breed even in very clean water.

What symptoms does yellow fever cause?

Yellow fever symptoms typically begin to emerge about a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. During the initial stages of the disease, you may notice symptoms including:

  • Fever, which can be high
  • Persistent headaches
  • Aching muscles, especially in the back
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Redness in the face or eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

These early signs of disease typically resolve within about a week. In the later “toxic” stage of the disease, symptoms can include:

  • Liver and kidney failure
  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth and eyes
  • Severe abdominal cramping
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Seizures and coma

Once the disease enters the toxic phase, death can follow.

How can I tell if I need a yellow fever vaccine?

The best way to determine if you need to be vaccinated against yellow fever is to have a pre-travel consultation so you can learn about any health risks with which you may come in contact during your travels. Yellow fever vaccinations should be administered at least three weeks to a month prior to travel in order to be most effective. Some countries with yellow fever require travelers to present an official vaccination certificate to serve as proof of vaccination prior to being allowed to enter the country. Travel Health Services is an official Yellow Fever Vaccination Center and is authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to validate the International Certificates of Vaccination (ICV).