Jamaica takes action against yellow fever virus

Dr. Christopher Tufton.

Jamaica is taking steps to prevent the importation of the yellow fever virus into the country where the disease does not occur but where the mosquito vector and human hosts are present.

Yellow fever is an acute viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

Last month, the Jamaica government issued a statement indicating that all travelers over the age of one year who arrived in Jamaica from countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission — including those passengers transiting those countries — would be required to produce a valid certificate to show they have been vaccinated.

Last week nine passengers who arrived in Jamaica by air were refused entry, while another eight were quarantined because of yellow fever concerns.

The 17 were among passengers from Trinidad and Tobago and Panama, who were unable to produce evidence that they were vaccinated against the virus. The Trinidadians had arrived on a Caribbean Airlines flight from Trinidad.

Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton confirmed that five of the passengers arrived on a Caribbean Airlines flight from Trinidad and Tobago and they were all sent back, while the other 12 came from Panama.

Of those 12, four were refused entry and the other eight were quarantined.

Dr. Tufton said Jamaica has to take the threat of yellow fever seriously.

A government advisory said, “failure to produce a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate at a Jamaican point of entry may lead to refusal of entry, or quarantined until the travelers’ certificate is produced.”

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