10 May 2016

Yellow fever outbreaks and changes to certificate requirements

Health professionals and travellers warned to monitor for changes to country yellow fever certificate requirements Yellow fever outbreaks and changes to certificate requirements

Travellers and health professionals should be aware of possible changes to county yellow fever (YF) certificate requirements in the coming months/years.  Both Rwanda and Uganda have recently published changes to their requirements [1, 2] which are slightly different to the details published by World Health Organization in International Travel and Health.  Countries can update their rules at short notice, particularly when outbreaks of the disease are occurring. This year further changes are also likely, due to updates to the International Health Regulations regarding the validity of YF vaccine certificates, which are expected in July.

An outbreak of YF is currently ongoing in Angola. Between December 2015 and 26 April 2016, 1,975 suspected cases (618 confirmed) and 258 deaths have been recorded [3]. Cases in travellers (imported cases) who had recently returned from Angola have been reported in Democratic Republic of Congo, China, Kenya, and Mauritania [4,5]. These cases highlight the risk of international spread of YF, and why countries may be reviewing their rules and tightening up border controls to help prevent the importation of this disease.

An outbreak of YF has also been reported in Uganda, with 30 suspected cases (6 confirmed in the south of the country) [6]. The cases do not have any history of travel outside of Uganda [6].

Advice for travellers

Some countries require travellers to have an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis for YF vaccine issued at least 10 days before entry in to their country.  Information on country certificate requirements can be found on our Country Information pages. Yellow fever vaccination is available in designated centres (see resources below). Please make sure you check the requirements for your destination prior to your departure.

Advice for health professionals

We will continue to look out for official notification of changes to country certificate requirements and update our Country Information pages accordingly. Note that the World Health Organization ‘Country list’ published 2015 and ‘Annex 1’ published Feb 2016 will not yet reflect some of this information.

Resources

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