Yellow Fever 101: Why Am I Getting this Shot?

I’m going to be honest with you – when I went in for my vaccination for Typhoid fever I didn’t bother to really read about what Typhoid fever was or why I should be getting the shot. My local Health Department could have injected anything into me on that day. All I knew was I wanted to go to Thailand and would take any and every shot needed and recommended for my safety. So I guess you can say I’m not completely ignorant. I mean, I know Typhoid fever, like any fever isn’t something you want to bring back from vacation.
Well today I sing a different tune. The lyrics are along the lines of something like this: “Oh, joy! I’m going to Tajikistan in about a month, but they won’t let me in without spending $84 bucks on a yellow fever shot – shucks! Oh – Why do I need this shot? (repeat3x)” The point I’m making is how many of us read about these vaccinations and know what they are? The CDC says we have to have them and we go stick out our arm for the needle, but how much investigation do we place into these deadly diseases?

Strangely enough the CDC actually says Yellow Fever isn’t something required for entry into Tajikistan, yet in order for me to get my visa I have to have the certificate. So this brings me to the question, what is yellow fever? Yellow fever is a disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Illness ranges in severity from an influenza-like syndrome to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever. Several occurrences take place after travel in certain countries in Africa and South America. If you want to know the 101 on Yellow Fever check out the CDC or for easy to understand information.