Getting Ready for the Amazon: Malaria and Yellow Fever

In getting ready for my upcoming trip to the Amazon, today I got my Yellow Fever shot and a prescription for anti-malaria pills.

When I was in the Navy I had a yellow fever shot, but that was more than 40 years ago and I decided it was time to update my immunity. So today I got jabbed at a travel health clinic.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever (YF) is endemic in the Brazilian Amazon Basin

Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within 7 to 10 days. The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America.


Malaria risk is present throughout the year. Risk is highest the Amazon regions (Acre, Amazonas, Roraima) Transmission is highest in jungle, mining, and agricultural areas and there is a high risk for those on cruise ships going through the Amazon regions including Manaus.

Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells.

According to the 2021 World Malaria Report: Nearly half the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 87 countries and territories. In 2020, malaria caused an estimated 241 million clinical episodes, and 627,000 deaths.

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