Yellow fever in Nigeria

The west African nation of Nigeria occasionally reports outbreaks of yellow fever. So you may be advised to get some travel vaccinations for Nigeria.

What are the health entry requirements for visiting Nigeria?

It can be difficult to work out whether you need a health certificate for your trip abroad, so ask at your travel health appointment. The nurse or pharmacist can tell you if you need to get a yellow fever certificate to visit Nigeria. They can give a yellow fever vaccine or any other travel vaccinations for Nigeria.

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a serious, sometimes fatal, viral illness that is spread by a mosquito, Aedes aegypti. The symptoms of yellow fever are:

  • sudden fever
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • jaundice

Yellow fever is mild for most patients and passes within days, but the illness may progress to the more serious haemorrhagic form which can kill 50 per cent of patients.

When you get back from Nigeria, if you suffer any feverish symptoms, see a doctor and tell them about your travel history. There is more information about yellow fever in our travel health article.

Do I need to avoid mosquito bites in Nigeria?

The yellow fever vaccine, Stamaril, is very effective, but it is not 100% effective so you need to avoid mosquito bites. There are, in any case, several other unpleasant diseases carried by mosquitoes in Nigeria, some of which cannot be prevented by vaccines or chemoprophylaxis. NX Travel Health Clinics’ article on Mosquito avoidance has some tips.

Do I need a yellow fever certificate to go to Nigeria?

All travellers over one year of age coming to Nigeria from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission will need a yellow fever certificate (international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis, or ICVP). And if you are travelling from Nigeria to another country with a risk of yellow fever transmission, you will need to show your yellow fever certificate.

If you cannot produce your ICVP, you may be quarantined, immunised or refused entry. This could result in lengthy delays and cause you to miss out on activities or connecting flights. So, as you can see, depending on your itinerary, a yellow fever certificate could be very important! When you get your yellow fever shot we will give you this certificate, and it should be valid for the rest of your life. Because there is a risk of yellow fever transmission in Nigeria, this shot (and the certificate) is important.

What other travel vaccinations for Nigeria will I need?

To find out what vaccines you need to go to Nigeria, make an appointment with a health adviser at NX Travel Health Clinics. They can tell you whether you need vaccination against cholera, hepatitis A and typhoid as well as yellow fever.

Are there any other health risks in Nigeria?

Travel Health Pro has recently reported outbreaks of several diseases in Nigeria, including Lassa fever and monkeypox. Take normal health precautions ahead of your trip to the region, including food and water safety and mosquito avoidance. While you are visiting Nigeria, don’t touch dead or dying animals.