A fatal case of yellow fever was confirmed in Cochabamba department in mid-June. The victim had been working in Villa Tunari and had taken various trips into tropical zones. It was the first yellow fever fatality reported in the country in a decade. Cases of the disease have been rare in Bolivia in recent years, thanks in large part to a major vaccination campaign carried out in 2007.
Visitors to the country should note that all travelers over one year of age are required to present a yellow fever vaccination certificate if arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Note that there is no risk of contracting the disease in high-elevation zones, including the cities of La Paz and Sucre.
Symptoms of yellow fever - a mosquito-borne disease - generally appear within three to six days following infection and include fever, chills, muscle and back pain, vomiting, headaches, and, in more serious cases, hemorrhaging and organ failure. The yellow fever vaccine should be administered at least ten days prior to travel to an affected zone to be fully effective. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the vaccine provides life-long immunity.
Individuals in or planning travel to Bolivia are advised to consult their doctor regarding vaccination options and to protect themselves against mosquitoes.