Rabies and Yellow Fever

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Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby em_g008 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:38 pm

We're doing the Cape Town to Zanzibar route this spring (camping trip) followed by 6 weeks of volunteering in Tanzania.
Is a rabies shot necessary for this trip? What with camping out in the wild and the possible exposure to wild animals (monkeys, dogs, etc). It's pretty expensive and the travel clinic said it's mainly for vets, but our choice if we want it.
The travel clinic also said that we don't need the yellow fever vaccine, but I thought you did need a yellow fever vaccine/certificate if travelling to Zambia.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Re: Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby Zuleika » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Your travel clinic is best placed to have the answers to these questions.
Rabies is probably only necessary when working with animals as your clinic states, - and after 4 safaris and travel thro Africa, in my experience you really don't come into very close contact with animals.
There is reported to be yellow fever in Zambia but they quote it is of low risk. You are not required to have yellow fever, however other countries such as South Africa have still got Zambia on their risk list for YF and wont let you in without it if you have come from Zambia. Best to check the countries you are going to after Zambia to see if they also insist.
Personally i would go for this one as it is a nasty disease, then you can relax - it also lasts 10 years so will cover you if you go to other areas, dont forget to take the cert.
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Re: Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby em_g008 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:41 pm

So we opted against rabies, but updated our Hep A, Typhoid and Tetanus shots.

Our travel doctor didn't seem to think we'd need Yellow Fever because of the path we're travelling, but he seemed slightly unsure just because the rules for Yellow Fever certificates at the borders can frequently change, and if we wanted to make any side trip into Kenya or Uganda (during our 6 weeks volunteering in Tanzania) than we would need it. We don't have any plans to go to Kenya or Uganda at this time though.

Since returning from the travel clinic yesterday, I've found several sources stating that as of 2011, Zanzibar now requires a valid Yellow Fever certificate at ALL ports of entry, regardless of whether or not you've come from an endemic area. Apparently there was an outbreak in Uganda last year which prompted this. I don't know if this is ongoing or has since been changed back...so much conflicting info!

Does anyone know for sure if you need yellow fever vaccine to enter zanzibar?
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Re: Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby jasonatl » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:18 am

When I went in September, my travel clinic insisted that I didn't need yellow fever. They have an expensive regularly updated worldwide database that is always right I was told. And when I got to Tanzania, the very first thing they asked for was my yellow fever certificate and rightfully didn't care what the travel clinic said. Those who didn't have a certificate could get the vaccination right there on the spot for US$50. That's much cheaper than most travel clinics but at the risk of sounding a bit elitist, do you really want to get stuck by a needle at a border crossing in a developing country? Best to go ahead and get the yellow fever shot.
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Re: Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby markmol » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:03 am

hi
when we arrived by ferry at Zanzibar we did have to show our yellow fever certificate
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Re: Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby lesliew » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:55 am

When I went to Tanzania in October, there was a sign in the airport (Kilimanjaro) that said you must show proof of a yellow fever vaccination or be willing to get a vaccination right there. I agree with jasonatl, the facilities where they were administering the shots looked a little scary (especially to those who have never been to a 3rd world country). Luckily, I had already had my yellow fever shot at my travel clinic. As for rabies, I did not have a vaccination and I camped for 5 days. I was never close enough to an animal in the campsite to worry about rabies. Plus, I've heard even if you have the vaccination, you still have to immediately get a series of shots if you get bitten. Our guide just warned us not to stick our arms out of the safari vehicle when we were close to monkeys (and the monkeys never tried to come too close...I think the tour operators do a very good job of making sure people don't try to feed the wild animals and therefore the animals don't try to come too close). For the record, the vaccinations I got before traveling to Tanzania were yellow fever, typhoid, hep A and B, polio, measles (MMR), and tetanus. And, of course, malaria pills.
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Re: Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby em_g008 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:03 pm

Hmmm...I think we will be going back to the travel clinic then, and getting the YF shot! Last thing I want is an on-the-spot vaccination in a 3rd world country airport/border crossing with a questionable needle! lol
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Re: Rabies and Yellow Fever

Postby clairew85 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:25 am

Ive just got back of the jo'burg to Nairobi tour and needed the yellow fever for Zambia, Tanzania and getting onto Zanzibar. They wouldnt allow us to start the tour if we did not have the jab ...
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