Yellow Fever

  • Medical Author:
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Bacterial Infections 101 Pictures Slideshow

Quick GuideTravel Health Pictures Slideshow: Vaccines & Preventing Diseases Abroad

Travel Health Pictures Slideshow: Vaccines & Preventing Diseases Abroad

What are the side effects of the yellow fever vaccine?

The yellow fever vaccine can have rare but serious adverse side effects. It is generally administered in designated vaccination centers. Health-care providers need to consider the individual's underlying health, their risk of exposure to yellow fever, and the contraindications to vaccine administration before recommending it. To minimize the risk of serious adverse events, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following recommendations:

Contraindications (conditions in which vaccine should not be given)

  • Allergy to vaccine component
  • Age <6 months
  • Symptomatic HIV infection or CD4+ T-lymphocytes <200/mm3 (<15% of total in children aged <6 years)
  • Thymus disorder associated with abnormal immune function
  • Primary immunodeficiencies
  • Malignant neoplasms
  • Transplantation
  • Immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapies

Precautions (conditions for which the risks of the vaccine and the disease should be carefully considered)

  • Age 6-8 months
  • Age ≥60 years
  • Asymptomatic HIV infection and CD4+ T-lymphocytes 200 to 499/mm3 (15%-24% of total in children aged <6 years)
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding

Individuals who do experience side effects from the yellow fever vaccine will generally experience mild symptoms, including low-grade fever, muscle aches, and headache. However, in rare cases, serious adverse events from the yellow fever vaccine can occur including life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, yellow fever vaccine-associated neurologic disease (a condition affecting the nervous system), and yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (a condition affecting the internal organs).

Where can people get more information on yellow fever?

"Yellow Fever," World Health Organization (WHO)

REFERENCES:

Busowski, Mary T., M.R. Wallace, and J.L. Robertson. "Yellow Fever." eMedicine.com. April, 17, 2009. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/232244-overview>.

Nichols, Emily M., and Aleksandr Gleyzer. "Yellow Fever." eMedicine.com. June, 23, 2010. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/787964-overview>.

Switzerland. World Health Organization. "Media Centre: Yellow Fever." Mar. 2014. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/>.

Switzerland. World Health Organization. "Yellow Fever." <http://www.who.int/topics/yellow_fever/en/>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Yellow Fever." Dec. 13, 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/index.html>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Yellow Fever." July 27, 2009. <http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2010/chapter-2/yellow-fever.aspx>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Yellow Fever." Nov. 2, 2007. <http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/yellowfever/index.html>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/15/2015

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Yellow Fever - Signs and Symptoms

    What were the signs and symptoms that you, a friend, or relative experienced with yellow fever?

    Post
  • Yellow Fever - Risks

    If you've traveled to a region at risk for yellow fever, did you get vaccinated beforehand? Discuss your experience.

    Post
  • Yellow Fever - Treatment

    If you or someone you know had yellow fever, what medications and treatment were given?

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors