PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Ministry of Health has placed restrictions of travelers coming from six countries in the wake of outbreaks of the Yellow Fever.
The Health Minister said effective March 22, travelers coming from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Suriname will be required to show documentation in their respective countries proving that they have been vaccinated against yellow fever before they are allowed to travel to this country.
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said this has become necessary in order to prevent an outbreak of the virus in Trinidad and Tobago.
The virus normally spreads in what is known as a jungle or sylvatic cycle, with transmission between mosquitoes and monkeys.
It is common among red howler monkeys native to forests in the twin island republic.
Deyalsingh said while most citizens of are vaccinated against yellow fever from a very young age, there are still thousands of people who are yet to be immunized.
The Health Minister added that the people most at risk of contracting yellow fever are those who go into the forests where infected monkeys may reside.
He said it was, therefore, imperative that hikers, farmers, hunters and other people visiting or living near the forests be vaccinated.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says there has not been an outbreak of yellow fever in Trinidad and Tobago since 1979.
Meanwhile, stakeholders at the Piarco International Airport, including the Immigration division, have been advised on the enforcement of requirements from the Ministry of Health.
Immigration Officers have also been trained in the use of a decision took to guide the verification process of travelers to the country.
Regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines, has advised passengers to liaise with travel agents for a list of vaccination requirements before their scheduled departure.
The Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa.
The virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Yellow fever is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing, and travel history, including the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes.