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Information on Malaria & Yellow Fever in Senegal

Hello West Africa semester students,

As you are all likely beginning to visit travel doctors and make a plan for vaccinations and medications for your course, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some additional information regarding malaria prophylaxis and yellow fever. 

To start, please note Dragons has no specific stipulations or requirements regarding inoculations and you should know that it is up to your discretion. We hope the following information from us can supplement info you have already received. If you haven’t reviewed it in a while, please return to the Course Prep Manual for more information – we are highlighting some notes about malaria and yellow fever here, but the Course Prep Manual contains additional information on other possible inoculations. Please consult your travel doctor for ALL medical recommendations. We do our best to provide clear information, but also recognize that we at Dragons are not medical professionals and cannot give specific medical advice. This is to be worked out with your doctor, but we encourage you to come to them with questions. 

For information on other CDC vaccination and medicine recommendations for travelers to Senegal, visit this site.

Malaria: The CDC states that malaria is prevalent in all areas of Senegal. We recommend that you discuss options with your doctor. It is important to note that medications for malaria do not prevent you from contracting the disease, but they do lessen the associated symptoms. When you speak with your doctor, we recommend you ask about the side effects of different malaria prophylactics so you are aware of possible side effects. Your travel doctor can also talk to you about if there is a need to take a particular malaria medication before and after travel (in addition to during travel).

Yellow Fever: The CDC lists Senegal as a country with risk of yellow fever virus transmission and a Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended by the CDC. Note that several countries in West Africa require proof of a yellow fever vaccination for entry. Travelers can be denied entry to some countries in the region if they do not show proof of a vaccination via a World Health Organization immunization booklet (also known as a Yellow Card or Carte Jaune which is an international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis). While we do not require vaccinations for our program, participants should be aware that any possible travel or emergency evacuation to nearby countries would be significantly more complicated if participants elect not to vaccinate against yellow fever. Ask your doctor about an immunization booklet or other proof of vaccination they may typically provide. 

THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) REFERENCES
MALARIA:

  • Areas with malaria: All.
  • Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: High.
  • Drug resistance: Chloroquine.
  • Malaria species: P. falciparum >85%, P. ovale 5%–10%, P. vivax rare.
  • Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.

YELLOW FEVER:

  • Requirements: Required if traveling from a country with risk of YFV transmission and ≥9 months of age, including transit in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.
  • RecommendationsRecommended for all travelers ≥9 months of age.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Cara Lane-Toomey, Program Director, cara@wheretherebedragons.com

And

Jody Segar, Program Director, jody@wheretherebedragons.com