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Yellow fever risk 2013

Surfers Paradise...
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Yellow fever risk 2013

We are visiting the falls for 2 days mid December from Rio. Lots of mixed reports about the danger of either contracting yellow fever or dengue fever. We're not keen to have this injection due to potential side effects before we leave Australia in two weeks. I can't find recent studies on statistics of people actually getting this disease. Can anyone shed some light onto a) whether we should definitely vaccinate and b). Any recent cases in 2013. Appreciate any relevant information.

Sao Paulo, SP
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1. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

1. this is what the U.S CDC (center for disease control) says about the Falls region (scroll down to "health Issues"):


2. this is what the World Health Organization (WHO) says about yellow fever vaccine and side effects:


3. the yellow fever vaccine is a requirement for travel to a number of countries and it is valid for 10 years... in fact, the 10-yr limit is about to be dropped, as the WHO issued a statement this year that vaccine actually offers lifetime protection. it is expected that countries will slowly adopt this recommendation:


so, you may consider taking it now and get done with it for the rest of your life. you will see in #2 side effects are very very mild, barring some very specific circumstances.

4. the actual number of cases in Brazil is low. and most are in the Amazon. this report (in Portuguese) shows there were 402 cases between 1999 and 2011.

of note: December is the peak month (more than 100 of these cases were in that month).

besides, for some reason, the local strain of yellow fever is very deadly, even with adequate medical treatment. 46% of those infected in that time period in Brazil died.

for comparison, an outbreak in a much poorer part of the world (Darfur, in the Sudan) in 2012 led to about 20% death rate.


5. maybe you are the same people on this thread; if not, interesting to read what fellow Aussies had to say:


6. dengue fever is a different disease. there is no vaccine. it also spikes considerably in the summer (i.e. December) as that is when weather conditions help mosquitoes thrive. Between Jan-Aug 2013 there were almost 3000 confirmed cases of dengue fever in the municipality of Foz do Iguaçu, including 2 deaths.

the area is actually on an alert for dengue in the upcoming summer... read about precautions for dengue fever... here is a local report in Portuguese about dengue in Foz do Iguaçu.


Surfers Paradise...
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2. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

Thank you for your comprehensive report. it's a wonder anyone visits these areas with so many health alerts but yes we need to ensure vaccines to prevent any chance of deadly disease. It appears dengue fever is the one you hope not to run into.

Salvador, BA
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3. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

Hi , I live in salvador, northeast of brazil.

Dont think you should worry with yellow fever. I´m a medic , I´ve graduated 11 years ago and I´ve never seen a yellow fever case. Yellow fever occur mostly in North of Brazil, the mosquitoes that transmits it need lots of forest and hot , rainy wheater

That is not the case with dengue. The mosquitoes that trasmits it reproducts very well in urbanized areas, and occurs in all country. I got dengue once , and I can tell you , its not nice. But theres no vacine. The good side is that the lethal dengue , hemorragic dengue fever , only occur after the first infection (in fact , the problems are caused by imunologic problems during second or third infections , not caused by direct action of virus). But the first infection is unpleasant enough , as i´ve noticed first hand. You may carry insect repellent with you, that usually works well. By they way , dengue mosquitoes are more active during daylight , and of afternoom.

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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4. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

G'day Surfers!

We never caught it.

We found that the mosquitoes at Iguasu Falls are not aggressive like the kind we get in Canada. You can avoid trouble by following two simple expedients:

- don't leave your windows open at night under any circumstances (most hotel windows don't open in any event)

- in mosquito-prone areas, be careful about spending much time out of doors after dark.

Mosquitoes don't come around in the daytime or even at twilight, we discovered. Their favorite time is late. We found this out the hard way one beautiful evening, when we thought it might be pleasant to take the night air. While we slept, our room turned into a combination of a blood-donor clinic and an airport with lots of tiny aircraft sitting on the tarmac, digesting our blood. For us, it was all totally unnecessary, since the room was air conditioned, and all we would have needed to do is leave our windows shut.

I'm not a medical professional, although my observations would be similar to those of the writer from Bahia: despite numerous bites, we caught nothing bad from our involuntary blood exchange.


Surfers Paradise...
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5. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

Thank you for your comments - I'm somewhat relieved and will take all the necessary precautions to deter those nasty mosses!

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

I am not really worried about yellow fever but more worried that if i do not get the vaccine, i could have trouble with entry into some other country down the road.

I never know where work travel will take me so I suspect I might have to just suck it up.

Thanks for the Dengue stats. I was in DEL during a big dengue outbreak. the mozzies that bite with dengue are aggresive day bitting buggers...

Sao Paulo, SP
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7. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

for all it is worth, I only had to show my YF certificate once - in Thailand.

i was traveling with 2 other Brazilians... the minute the immigration officer saw our Brazil passports, he sent us to some health inspector to verify our YF certificates.

but I carry it together with my passport, just in case.

i recently had the YF shot again (probably it will be last time because of new rules), no side effects whatsover... and in Brazil they are free.

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8. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

We were told that if we didn't have the Yellow fever vaccination when going to Iguasso, we would not be allowed back into Australia ... might be worth checking this.

Fortaleza, CE
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9. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

My wife, a doctor in Fortaleza, had hemorrhagic dengue and had not had regular dengue before that. Having regular dengue isn't a requirement for getting the more serious (but also much less common) hermorrhagic strain, but, as WebMD says, "People with weakened immune systems as well as those with a second or subsequent dengue infection are believed to be at greater risk for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever".

For most people, the important things to know is that, as noted, there's no vaccine and, second, that at least the "regular" strain of dengue is usually easily treatable as long as it's caught quickly (i.e., it pays to know the symptoms). Don't try to treat yourself. Go to a doctor or hospital. Hopefully you have health insurance and don't have to rely on a public hospital.

Edited: 03 December 2013, 22:48
Foz do Iguacu, PR
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10. Re: Yellow fever risk 2013

Bom Dia,

I leave the preference of vaccine to each individual. I am not a doctor but trained corpsman and severed in many tropical counties and areas. Trust me YF is not fun. Dengue has no vaccine and is spread in many, many parts of the world. Good repellent and proper clothing is the first measure.

I do recommend visiting your doctor prior to departure and disusing the pros and cons of YF vaccine. Also ask the Dr. for a script to help with dengue and malaria go to the drug store and have it filled. Doctor visit is cheap here but the time of finding one and getting the prescription will not be fun if you are suffering with the initial symptoms of the YF or dengue.

All the negative stuff is over. I came from the US and live in Foz for 2 years. These little "skitters" are not mean but since you have not been exposed to their little transfer of fluids when bitten, it does hurt the next day. Swelling is normal. Use a poison Ivy type spray and hydrocort cream to help with the discomfort. (bring with you, difficult to find in farmacias here.

As to biting, they will bite most any time of the day if you are near small leafy trees or on the grass without shoes and socks. Use the OFF all the time and you will be fine.

At the falls the water spray and breezes from the falls keep the bugs at bay.

Enjoy my home...Remember to bring what you need due to it may not be available in Brazil.