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    May 18, 2016

    Heading to Rio in August? Get vaccinated against yellow fever

    THE Ministry of Health (MOH) is concerned that people going to the Olympic Games in Brazil might bring yellow fever back to Singapore, and is advising them to get vaccinated before they go.

    This is because yellow fever is spread by the same Aedes mosquito that is responsible for dengue, which is endemic here, and the Zika virus - of which at least one case was identified here earlier this month.

    MOH said in a release yesterday that while Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympic Games will be held in August, is not endemic for this disease, most states in Brazil are.

    It expects more people from Singapore to go to Brazil for the event and advises them to get the vaccine at least 10 days before they leave. A check with several clinics found the cost ranges from $160 to $240.

    MOH said: "Although there are, as yet, no reported cases of yellow fever in Singapore, any importation of the disease risks the disease taking root here due to the presence of the Aedes mosquito."

    It said the vaccine, which is available at more than 100 clinics, "is the most effective preventive measure against yellow fever" and confers lifetime immunity.

    Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint ache, loss of appetite and vomiting.

    However, most infected people have mild or no symptoms.

    It urged people who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated, to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing long, covered clothing, applying insect repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire mesh.