The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Health Alert


Yellow Fever in Angola

Updated March 2, 2016

What is the current situation?

The Ministry of Health in Angola has reported an ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Luanda Province. The outbreak started in December 2015 in Viana Municipality, a suburb of the capital city of Luanda, and has since spread to other municipalities in the province. Since that time, additional cases have been reported in the provinces of Kwanza Sul, Huambo, Huila, Bié, Uíge, Zaire, Benguela, and Cunene. At least 300 suspected cases have been reported, including at least 75 deaths. Laboratory confirmation of yellow fever has been obtained for a number of cases. The Ministry of Health is working with the World Health Organization to control the outbreak and has initiated an emergency vaccination campaign in Viana Municipality, with plans to possibly extend the campaign to the entire Luanda Province.

The government of Angola requires all travelers older than 9 months to show proof of yellow fever vaccination on arrival. In addition, CDC recommends that all travelers aged 9 months or older be vaccinated against yellow fever.

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus, which is spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms take 3–6 days to develop and include fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle aches. About 15% of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can lead to bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death.

How can travelers protect themselves?

Travelers can protect themselves from yellow fever by getting yellow fever vaccine and preventing mosquito bites.

Get yellow fever vaccine:

Prevent mosquito bites:

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
    • Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children aged >2 months.
    • Follow package directions when applying repellent on children. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself:
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See the product information to find out how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

Clinician Information:

Additional Information: