What Happens at a Yellow Fever Clinic?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 February 2020
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At a yellow fever clinic, individuals may receive a vaccination against yellow fever. In some clinics, patients may receive an official diagnosis of infection and treatment for symptoms associated with the virus. Most clinics also provide educational materials advising patients on how to avoid the spread of yellow fever and how to recognize the symptoms of yellow fever as early as possible. Often, a yellow fever clinic is certified by a government health authority, which means that doctors and staff members offer a quality approach to eradicating the virus, and are authorized to administer a vaccination against it.

Travelers visiting countries where the virus has been officially reported should first visit a yellow fever clinic to become vaccinated against infection. At such clinics, travelers are advised about controlling the spread of yellow fever and about recognizing the symptoms of infection as soon as they occur. In the United States, vaccination is only offered through a government-approved yellow fever clinic, which is sometimes referred to as a traveler’s clinic since other vaccines are also offered in these settings, as well.


Visiting a yellow fever clinic before traveling to areas where infection is likely is one of the primary ways the spread of yellow fever is prevented from becoming a worldwide pandemic. While individuals who have already had the virus develop immunity against it, others who’ve never been exposed to it become quite ill upon infection. Some of the symptoms of yellow fever include headache, muscle pain, fever, chills, nausea and weakness. After an initial stage, the virus will appear to go into remission only to return with more aggressive symptoms such as a high fever, vomiting, bleeding gums and jaundice. As the illness progresses, individuals may go into shock, experience heart arrhythmias, kidney failure, seizures and may enter a comatose state.

To avoid contracting this potentially deadly virus, it is advised that foreign travelers over the age of 9 months obtain a vaccination at a yellow fever clinic before visiting areas where contraction of the virus is likely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, does not recommend that children under the age of 9 months become vaccinated, nor is the yellow fever vaccination recommended for pregnant women. Individuals with immune system deficiencies may receive vaccinations from an American yellow fever clinic only if it is determined that the likelihood of contracting the virus while traveling is extremely high. Otherwise, individuals with weak immune systems are advised against taking the vaccination at a yellow fever clinic, as the live virus contained in the vaccination presents a serious health risk to these individuals.



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