Yellow fever is not a very nice disease, which is why you should try and avoid contracting it. The best way to do that is to stay away from countries that have a high risk of contracting the disease. Or, be aware that those countries present a danger and act accordingly. Let’s face it; you don’t want a disease like yellow fever to stop you from exploring the world.
As recently as 2012 there was a huge outbreak of yellow fever that spread across the whole of Sudan and made a lot of people ill. The problem with Sudan, and countries like Sudan, is the lack of technology and medical supplies. As a result, once the disease starts to spread it is hard to contain and can cover a vast area in a short amount of time. If you are planning on going to Sudan shortly, consider yellow fever vaccinations to help safeguard your health.
The Democratic Republic of Congo
The DRC has had to deal with an outbreak of yellow fever as recently as April 2014, which is the most recent report of the case. As mosquitos carry the disease, female mosquitos only, you are always at risk such is their volume in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, you should take more care if you are planning on visiting large areas of swamp or wetlands. Yellow fever is incredibly potent in these areas, as is malaria, which is why the vaccine is so important. The borders of Rwanda and Burundi are places to look out for due to the river that dissects the area.
You are probably noticing a theme about now. Yes, certain areas of Africa are well known for the yellow fever disease and it spreads far and wide. In fact, it spreads as far as Nigeria from countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Sudans. Just because Nigeria is a more well-known country in Africa doesn’t make it any less prevalent. Again, the North Eastern borders of Chad and Niger are particularly dangerous because of Lake Chad.
It is not only Africa where the disease is a threat. Almost all of Brazil requires a yellow fever vaccination, apart from the South coast that borders Uruguay, and Brazil is a huge country so that is no mean feat. Brazil is one of those places where you think you are safe because it is a well-developed country, isn’t it? Well, cities like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Curitiba have plenty of medical supplies and different ways to combat the disease. But, the North is nowhere near as wealthy. The huge amount of rainforest makes yellow fever very dangerous, especially to Western travellers. A lot don’t get the vaccination because they inevitably visit the South coast first, but once they move onto other areas they are susceptible.
What a lot of people don’t know about Bolivia is that the Amazon rainforest runs through the country. The Amazon is mainly associated with Brazil, but don’t make that mistake if you travel to Bolivia. A lot of people go into the Amazon from Bolivia because it is a lot cheaper and you still get the same experience. But, the same dangers still apply. Plus, if you contract the disease while you are in the jungle, there is no worse place to be. It can take days to get to civilisation and it is one of the least comfortable places on the planet. However, if you are travelling to La Paz or the West of the country, you won’t need the vaccination as it doesn’t exist near the borders of Peru and Chile.
Unlike Brazil and Bolivia, there is no rest bite from yellow fever in Colombia. The whole country is prone to outbreaks and requires a vaccination as a result. That is the reason that yellow fever outbreaks are as common in the country as they are in Brazil and Bolivia. In fact, these countries have the highest rate of contraction in the whole of South America.
It is worth noting that yellow fever should not stop you from travelling at all. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to visit half of Africa and two-thirds of South America. It is not a curable disease, but if it is treated early the majority of patients fully recover. The best backup plan is to do your research and be aware of the contaminated areas. Also, makes sure you get the vaccination.