Yellow fever jabs

Had the jabs for Yellow Fever yesterday (Monday 11th) in Whitley Bay at the authorised yellow fever place. Neither of us had had a needle poked in us for a while and so we were somewhat nervous beforehand.

Becs went first and the nurse got her to lie down in case she felt faint. As it happens she could barely feel it. As I went second I was able to ‘handle it’ sitting up on a chair.

It’s a virus transmitted by mosquitos, and if we hadn’t been immunised against it, we could have caught it in Africa and/or South America. As with other viruses (like the jolly Japanese B encephalitis), there is no cure and treatment is ’symptomatic’ (ie they try to make you feel nicer by making you cups of tea and putting wet flannels on your forehead). It’s quite possible to die from: mortality is between 15-50%.

The vaccine is a live, supposedly avirulent, strain of the virus, known as 17D. This has been used for 50 years ‘without reproach’ but then again you come across things like this that make you think! However, you also read stuff like this:

The low incidence of yellow fever, generally a few hundred reported cases per year, has led to complacency among travelers. Four of the five cases of yellow fever among travelers from the United States and Europe in 1996-2002 were exposed in South America. All five cases were fatal and occurred among unvaccinated travelers.

(from the US CDC – Centre for Disease Control)

Cost was £84 (£42 each).

Only TB, Typhoid, Polio, Tetanus, Diptheria, Japenese B, Hep A, Hep B and Rabies to go!

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