Travelers’ unfamiliarity with yellow fever vaccine requirement is a reality

Publicação: 10 de April de 2017

Doctor Tânia Chaves calls attention, especially during this moment when the greatest yellow fever outbreak is in course, for foreigner or domestic travelers to be careful and protect themselves with the free preventive measures available in our health system

The great fear is that YF becomes urban due to the urban vectors, Aedes aegypti, high-density rates; the vector also transmits other diseases as dengue, CHIKV and Zika

The great fear is that YF becomes urban due to the urban vectors, Aedes aegypti, high-density rates; the vector also transmits other diseases as dengue, CHIKV and Zika

Depending on the trip’s destination, some cautions should be taken about the risks of sickening and some measures should be taken before travelling, as yellow fever vaccine, obligatory in some countries at least 10 days prior do the trip. Since Brazil has reported the greatest epidemic for the past 70 years, some Brazilian states already have virus transmission, therefore the traveler must be immunized. Infectious diseases physician and Professor at Para Federal University (UFPA) and researcher at the Evandro Chagas Institute, Dr. Tânia Chaves talks about traveler unawareness on yellow fever vaccination in some countries and clearly seen in some travelers’ routines. “An interesting aspect is that the fact is seen among travelers heading for domestic destinations. Most times, the traveler only seeks vaccines against yellow fever, because he/she was told boarding would only be allowed under this condition, since it is required by the destination country”, she stresses.

According to the expert, thinking vaccines are only intended for children could trouble some travelers, while it is aimed at all ages, regardless of intentions to travel. Another aspect is the need to intensify information in places with greater people flow, especially during vacations, in airports, bus, trains or boat stations and all of the Country’s border regions. “At this time, information should be intensified for domestic travelers heading to risk areas without knowing the need to take YF vaccine, despite the daily broadcasts about the epidemic and information disclosure in public health official websites”, she says while adding that travelers lack practical information. “They are available, but placed in different information websites, what hampers the access. Doctor Tânia argues that information about general recommendations on pre-travel, during and post-travel precautions could be placed on a specific website. “However, initiatives like this do not prevent disease importation or exportation through travelers, who represent a sentinel population for diseases reflecting in public health, as what we have seen with the introduction of Chikungunya and Zika viruses, as others, as AH1N1, measles, etc. These are the tropical and infectious diseases challenging the globalized world”, she recognizes.

This way, our tip is: Whoever is going to travel for leisure or work to regions inside or outside of the Country (Africa, South America), the option for all those traveling to risk areas to immunize against yellow fever in the public health system. The last outbreak the Country faced was in 2008 and 2009, in Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo states, when routine vaccination was established in these states and when the Health Ministry split Brazil into two areas considering vaccination: a part that immunizes and the other that does not. The recommendation is that before the trip, the traveler should look up information whether his city offers the traveler attention health service, where he will be guided about prevention measures, including vaccination against yellow fever. The great fear is that YF becomes urban again due to the high-density rates of the transmitting mosquito, which also transmits other diseases as dengue, CHIKV and Zika: the Aedes aegypti.

* Distribution of yellow fever cases in Brazil – 2017




Map of areas where vaccination is recommended at this time: