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Yellow Fever

History, Epidemiology, and Vaccination Information


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Yellow Fever Vaccines


Things to Consider

Adverse Events

Mild Adverse Events

Severe Reactions

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Neurologic Disease

Viscerotropic Disease

Question 2

Monitoring Patients

Contraindications and Precautions

Yellow Fever Vaccine-Associated Viscerotropic Disease (YEL-AVD)

Yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD) is a rare and serious adverse event associated with administration of the yellow fever vaccine. YEL-AVD is an illness similar to wild-type yellow fever, in which the vaccine virus proliferates in multiple organs, causing multiple organ dysfunction syndrome or multiorgan failure and death in at least 60% of cases. Since this complication was first recognized in 2001, more than 65 cases have been reported throughout the world. Viscerotropic disease has been reported in primary vaccinees only, with average onset 4 days (range: 0–8 days) after vaccination. Based on a recent analysis of VAERS data, the rate of YEL-AVD in travelers from the United States is 0.4/100,000 doses distributed.


Initial symptoms of YEL-AVD are nonspecific and can include the following: fever, malaise, headache, myalgia, vomiting, and diarrhea. More severe cases can progress to hepatic, renal, or respiratory insufficiency or failure; hypotension; thrombocytopenia; and coagulopathy.


There is no specific therapy for YEL-AVD. Treatment is supportive, once other diseases have been excluded. The diagnosis can be made by the presence of yellow fever vaccine virus detected by RT-PCR from serum or tissues.