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Travel Health » Thailand
 

Thailand : Travel Health

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

Researching Travel Plans

Please note that this health information about Thailand may be out-of-date.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 Thailand

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

More Common Diseases and Medical Concerns for Thailand

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

  • motor vehicle trauma - wear seatbelts and avoid night driving
  • parasitic diseases from undercooked foods
  • drownings are common - undercurrents can be strong
  • jellyfish stings at Hat Rin beach of Koh Phangan - sometimes fatal

Epidemics for Thailand

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

  • avian influenza A (H5N1) - poultry and human cases late 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Dengue fever

Vaccinations for Travel to Thailand

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

  • 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 Thailand

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

  • 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
  • avoid crowded public places and public transportation whenever possible
  • take care when diving, kayaking and swimming in Mekong river or close to waterfalls and on beaches - drownings are common
  • jungle treks may be dangerous because of landslides - trek with an experienced guide

Other Relevant Issues for Travel to Thailand

The following may be issues relevant to travel to Thailand:

  • high level medical care is available in Bangkok, adequate medical care is available throughout the rest of the country but not to the standards of industrialized countries
  • there may be consular warnings against travel to the country
  • check latest advice for updates
 

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