Yellow fever update

Yellow fever cases continue to be reported in Africa and South America
Yellow fever update

Yellow fever (YF) is a virus spread by mosquitoes in parts of Africa, Central and South America, and in Trinidad in the Caribbean. YF infection can cause a serious (haemorrhagic) illness that can be fatal for humans. YF can be prevented by vaccination.

In Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises that 13 countries have reported probable and confirmed YF cases since the beginning of 2023 up to February 2024. These countries are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda. WHO advise that in some African countries, there may be under-reporting of YF due to surveillance and data collection issues. Mosquitoes (Aedes spp.) that spread YF are common in many urban areas in Africa. This significantly increases the risk of YF spreading, especially in heavily populated areas like cities, which could lead to rapid YF outbreaks [1].

In South America, seven confirmed YF cases, including four fatal cases, have been reported between 1 January and 19 March 2024. Cases have been reported in Colombia (three fatal cases), Guyana (two cases) and Peru (two cases, including one death). Brazil has reported confirmed YF in monkeys (non-human primates) which indicates YF is circulating in the country. Risk of YF outbreaks in South America is high. While YF vaccination is one of the most successful public health interventions to prevent YF disease, the COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors, has led to a reduction of YF vaccine cover in the local population [2].

Advice for travellers

Before you travel

Check your risk of YF, vaccine recommendations and any certificate requirements at your destination using the TravelHealthPro Country Information pages.

WHO recommends YF yellow fever vaccine for all travellers aged nine months and older visiting areas with risk of yellow fever [3] unless the vaccine is not advised because of a medical reason (contraindicated).

You should also follow mosquito bite avoidance advice.

Some countries may require an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) for yellow fever from travellers arriving in the country.

Be aware that if a country does not have a requirement for a YF ICVP there could still be a risk of yellow fever in the country and vaccination may be recommended for personal protection.

For advice about your risk of yellow fever, certificate issues and to find out if yellow fever vaccine is suitable for you, we recommend you arrange an appointment with a registered Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre (YFVC). In the United Kingdom (UK) you can find your nearest YFVC using our online YFVC Search Locator.

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals should advise travellers about their destination specific risk of yellow fever according to TravelHealthPro Country information pages.

Travellers to risk countries must be advised that yellow fever is spread via mosquito bites and carefully counselled about the importance of following insect bite avoidance measures day and night.

When undertaking yellow fever risk assessment, health professionals should use the Yellow fever pre-vaccination checklist and Yellow fever vaccine: contraindications and precautions reminder.

Health professionals are also encouraged to access our Outbreak Surveillance section where outbreak details are posted. Please note that not all cases of disease or outbreaks are reported; some outbreaks may only be reported if they occur outside the usual recognised risk area or season, or they have been reported in greater than usual numbers.

Health professionals can also call the NaTHNaC Advice Line for further advice.

Search by

Explore more

Health professionals: ICVP printing issue – action required

A batch of the 2024 International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis has a printing error

Updated: 15 May 2024

UKHSA publishes 2022 and 2023 UK malaria cases in returned travellers

Malaria risk reminder for travellers and health professionals as UK Health Security Agency confirm 2022 and 2023 imported UK malaria cases in England,

Updated: 17 May 2024

‘Getting to grips with tick-borne encephalitis’ webinar video available

The recording of the tick-borne encephalitis webinar on 28 March 2024 now added to TravelHealthPro

Updated: 14 May 2024

Polio: Public Health Emergency of International Concern

An update on the polio Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Updated: 26 April 2024

Search by