Yellow Fever Prevention
The best form of yellow fever prevention is the yellow fever vaccine. Another important method of prevention is to avoid mosquito bites. Applying insect repellent to exposed skin and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants can help prevent mosquito bites, which helps prevent yellow fever.
Yellow fever is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected humans or monkeys. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the yellow fever virus to other humans when they bite.
Yellow fever is only found in certain parts of Africa and South America.
The best way to prevent yellow fever is with the yellow fever vaccine. Yellow fever is a very rare cause of illness in travelers, but most countries have regulations and requirements for yellow fever vaccination that must be met prior to entering the country.
(Click Yellow Fever Vaccine for more information on this prevention strategy.)
It is also important to take precautions that will help prevent mosquito bites. Below are some suggestions for the prevention of mosquito bites:
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Generally, the more of the active ingredient a repellent contains, the longer it can protect you from mosquito bites. A higher percentage of the active ingredient in a repellent does not mean that your protection is better. It only means that it will last longer. Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time you will be outdoors.
- Repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children.
- Whenever you use an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's directions for use, as printed on the product.
- Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent, since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. Do not apply repellent to skin under your clothing.
- When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Vitamin B and "ultrasonic" devices are not effective in preventing mosquito bites.
- Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.
- Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening. These are peak mosquito-biting times.