The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Health Alert


LEVEL 2 - PRACTICE ENHANCED PRECAUTIONS

Yellow Fever in Angola

Updated May 31, 2016

Released: May 27, 2016

Travel Health Notice

Yellow feverExternal link is a serious and occasionally fatal disease. It is caused by a virus which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain (mostly back pain), yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. All unvaccinated travellers are at high risk if going to a destination where yellow fever occurs.

The Ministry of Health of Angola is reporting its largest outbreak of yellow fever in 30 years. The outbreak was first reported in December 2015, primarily in the urban area of Luanda and has since spread through the country. Cases have also been reported in China, Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) and Kenya in travellers returning from Angola. The World Health Organization indicates that there is a risk for more spread of the disease because of the large international communities in Angola and the frequent travel activities with neighbouring and overseas countries.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers get vaccinated against yellow fever and protect themselves from mosquito bitesExternal link if travelling to Angola. People who have never been vaccinated against yellow fever should consider not travelling to Angola.

The government of Angola requires that travellers age 9 months or older be vaccinated for yellow fever and show proofExternal link of vaccination on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis to enter the country. For additional information see the recommendations below.

There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

Recommendations

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, as early as possible (preferably six weeks or more) before you travel.

  • Get vaccinated:
    • Get the yellow fever vaccine before you travel to a country with risk of yellow fever and countries requiring yellow fever vaccinationExternal link.
    • In Canada, the vaccine is only available at designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.
    • It is important to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your travel to ensure that the vaccine is available.
    • After you receive the vaccine, you will receive an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis to bring with you on your trip as proof of vaccination.
    • If you are receiving the vaccine for the first time, be aware that it takes ten days for it to become effective. Your International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis will become valid ten days after the date of vaccination.
    • Your health care provider will provide you with more detailed information related to the duration of validityExternal link of the certificate.
    • One dose of the yellow fever vaccine provides long lasting immunity against the disease.
    • Consult your health care provider to discuss whether a booster dose is recommended based on your risk factors.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times, as the yellow fever virus is transmitted by a mosquito that can bite in daylight and evening hours.¬† This includes the use of insect repellant and protective clothing.
  • If you develop symptoms similar to yellow fever when you are travelling or after you return, see a health care provider and tell them where you have been travelling or living.