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Travel Health » South Korea
 

South Korea : Travel Health

WARNING! This information is out-dated and likely to be inaccurate!

Researching Travel Plans

Please note that this health information about South Korea may be out-of-date. Always research the current health conditions and issues in any region you plan to visit prior to departure.

Infectious Diseases and Medical Concerns for South Korea

The following medical diseases or health concerns are more common in travel to South Korea (compared to the USA and other areas of the Western World):

More Common Diseases and Medical Concerns for South Korea

The following health concerns or diseases are more commonly found in South Korea compared to the USA and other areas of the Western World:

  • motor vehicle trauma - wear seatbelts and avoid night driving
  • exacerbation of cardiopulmonary conditions including asthma, bronchitis, allergies from air pollution

Epidemics for South Korea

The following health concerns, diseases or comments are related to epidemics in South Korea:

  • avian influenza A (H5N1) - poultry late 2003, early 2004

Less Common Diseases and Health Concerns for South Korea

The following health concerns or medical diseases are less commonly found in South Korea compared to the USA and other areas of the Western World:

  • Russian spring-summer encephalitis

Vaccinations for Travel to South Korea

The following medical vaccinations are desirable or helpful for travel to South Korea to prevent contagious diseases in South Korea:

  • hepatitis A - or immune globulin (IG)
  • hepatitis B if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment
  • Japanese encephalitis only if you plan to visit rural areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis
  • rabies - if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation
  • typhoid
  • tetanus - booster dose as needed
  • diphtheria - booster dose as needed
  • measles - booster dose as needed

Preventions or Health Precautions for Travel to South Korea

Any health risk of travel to South Korea may be reduced by the following precautionary health measures when visiting South Korea:

  • Take your malaria prevention medication before/during/after travel as directed
  • high rate of motor vehicle trauma - avoid night driving and wear seatbelts
  • mosquito bite prevention
  • insect bite protection
  • avoid drinking non-treated water - only drink bottled or canned water
  • eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself
  • keep feet clean and dry - help prevent parasitic infections
  • do not go barefoot - help prevent parasitic infections
  • always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • don't eat food purchased from street vendors
  • don't drink beverages with ice
  • don't share needles with anyone
  • don't handle animals (especially monkeys/dogs/cats) - to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague - risk for travelers is small)
  • don't swim in fresh water. Salt water is usually safer
  • typhoons may occur - take care and heed local precautions
  • air pollution may rise significantly in July and August - take care if suffering from a cardiopulmonary medical condition

Other Relevant Issues for Travel to South Korea

The following may be issues relevant to travel to South Korea:

  • high level medical care where facilities are comparable to other industrialised countries is available in Seoul, adequate medical care is available throughout the rest of the country but not to the standard of industrialized countries
  • some hospitality and entertainment workers will be tested for HIV
 

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