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Deaths Tied to Yellow Fever Vaccine

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"We are talking about something which is so infrequent that one might not see a case but every year or so," says Cetron, deputy director of the division of global migration and quarantine at the CDC.

Monath urges travelers to receive the vaccine only if they are traveling to the areas where yellow fever is commonplace -- including tropical South America or sub-Saharan Africa. However, he notes that some other countries may require proof of vaccination to enter, especially if they are passing through areas where the disease is rampant.

At the same time, Monath says travelers headed to dangerous areas are being under-vaccinated. And both he and Cetron urge travelers to recognize the life-threatening nature of yellow fever.

"If you are traveling in an area of ongoing transmission, such as Western Africa or the Amazon, your risk of getting yellow fever unprotected by vaccine is many times higher than your risk of [having problems] from the vaccine," says Cetron.

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