Yellow fever - How is it prevented?

Travellers going to countries where yellow fever occurs should take care to avoid mosquito bites particularly in the higher risk times during the day and early evening.1  You should wear long-sleeved, long-legged, loose-fitting clothing (light colour is preferred to dark); dark colours retain the body warmth and body gases that insects are attracted to.  Mosquitoes tend to bite ankles and wrists – clothing that helps prevent this, by reducing the area of exposure, is recommended.3  Insect repellants containing DEET or Icaradin are particularly useful to stop mosquitoes from biting.3  Insect repellants should be applied as recommended by the manufacturer.

Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all healthy travellers (aged 9 months and over) visiting South America and Africa.1,2   When travelling you must have official documentation with you to show if you’ve been vaccinated.  If a traveller has recently visited a high-risk country and is returning to New Zealand, a vaccination certificate may be needed.4  In New Zealand only yellow fever vaccination centres approved by the Ministry of Health can administer the yellow fever vaccine.5

Each time you plan to travel, show your doctor your travel itinerary at least 6–8 weeks before you leave,6  to check if you need to take any precautionary measures against yellow fever.


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