The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice recently for the southern African nation of Angola due to an ever growing yellow fever outbreak in Luanda Province.

Angola Image/CIA

The outbreak started in December 2015 in Viana Municipality, a suburb of the capital city of Luanda, and has since spread to other municipalities in the province. Since that time, additional cases have been reported in the provinces of Kwanza Sul, Huambo, and Huila.

As of the most recent report yesterday, 240 cases have been reported, including 51 fatalities.

The Ministry of Health is working with the World Health Organization to control the outbreak and has initiated an emergency vaccination campaign in Viana Municipality, with plans to possibly extend the campaign to the entire Luanda Province.

The government of Angola requires all travelers older than 9 months to show proof of yellow fever vaccination on arrival. In addition, CDC recommends that all travelers aged 9 months or older be vaccinated against yellow fever.

The CDC notes that travelers can protect themselves from yellow fever by getting yellow fever vaccine and preventing mosquito bites. Visit a yellow fever vaccination (travel) clinic and ask for a yellow fever vaccine.

You should receive this vaccine at least 10 days before your trip.

After receiving the vaccine, you will receive a signed and stamped International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP, sometimes called the “yellow card”), which you must bring with you on your trip.

For most travelers, one dose of the vaccine lasts for a lifetime. Consult a travel medicine provider to see if additional doses of vaccine may be recommended for you based on specific risk factors.

In rare cases, the yellow fever vaccine can have serious and sometimes fatal side effects. People older than 60 years and people with weakened immune systems might be at higher risk of developing these side effects. Also, there are special concerns for pregnant and nursing women. Talk to your doctor about whether you should get the vaccine.

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus, which is spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms take 3–6 days to develop and include fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle aches. About 15% of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can lead to bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death.