Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a serious infection spread by mosquitoes. It's found in certain areas of Africa and South and Central America. You should have a yellow fever vaccination if you're travelling to an area where there's a risk of getting it.

Check if you're at risk of yellow fever

You can get yellow fever if you're bitten by an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry the yellow fever virus bite during the day.

Yellow fever is very common in certain parts of the world, including:

Yellow fever is not found in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific Islands.

How to lower your risk of yellow fever

If you're travelling to an area where yellow fever is found, there are some things you can do to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.


  • wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers to cover your arms and legs, particularly during early morning and early evening

  • use insect repellent on your skin (ideally one that contains the ingredient DEET)

  • close windows and doors whenever possible, or use blinds or screens

  • sleep under a mosquito net treated with insecticide, including during the day

Yellow fever vaccination

The yellow fever vaccine is recommended if:

Some people at risk of yellow fever through their work should also get vaccinated.

The yellow fever vaccine is safe for most people who are 9 months old or over.

You have to pay for the yellow fever vaccine for travel, and you can only get it from registered yellow fever vaccination centres.

Find out more about the yellow fever vaccine

Symptoms of yellow fever

Yellow fever symptoms usually start 3 to 6 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, but sometimes they can take longer to appear.

Some yellow fever symptoms are similar to flu, such as:

These symptoms often last 3 or 4 days. But a small number of people get more serious symptoms within 24 hours of feeling better.

More serious symptoms include:

These more serious symptoms can be fatal.

Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:

  • you feel unwell after travelling to a country where yellow fever is found

You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.

Tell anyone you speak to about your recent travel, and if you were bitten by a mosquito or might have been.

If you become unwell while you're abroad, get medical help as soon as possible. Do not wait until you get back to the UK.

Treatment for yellow fever

There's no specific treatment for yellow fever.

Most people make a full recovery after 3 or 4 days.

Things you can do to help ease your symptoms include:

If you have more serious symptoms of yellow fever, you'll need to go into hospital immediately to be treated.

Page last reviewed: 25 July 2023
Next review due: 25 July 2026