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Travel Health » Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia : Travel Health

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

Researching Travel Plans

Please note that this health information about Saudi Arabia may be out-of-date.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

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

More Common Diseases and Medical Concerns for Saudi Arabia

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

  • motor vehicle trauma - wear seatbelts and avoid night driving
  • Respiratory conditions including asthma, allergies and bronchitis may be exacerbated by dust in the air
  • scorpion bite rurally/desert areas

Epidemics for Saudi Arabia

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

Uncommon or Rare Diseases and Medical Concerns for Saudi Arabia

These medical diseases or health concerns are uncommon or rare in Saudi Arabia:

  • yellow fever - no risk although vaccination certificate may be required if coming from an infected area

Vaccinations for Travel to Saudi Arabia

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

  • 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.
  • rabies - if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation
  • typhoid
  • meningococcal vaccine
  • tetanus - booster dose as needed
  • diphtheria - booster dose as needed
  • measles - booster dose as needed
  • polio

Preventions or Health Precautions for Travel to Saudi Arabia

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

  • 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
  • scorpion 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
  • use sunblock and take sunglasses and a hat

Other Relevant Issues for Travel to Saudi Arabia

The following may be issues relevant to travel to Saudi Arabia:

  • high level medical care is available in Riyadh and Jedda, adequate medical care is available throughout the rest of the country but is not to the standards of industrialized countries
  • foreigners applying for residency or work permits will be tested for HIV
  • there may be consular warnings against travel to the country
  • check latest advice for updates

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