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Travel Health » Vietnam

Vietnam : Travel Health

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

Researching Travel Plans

Please note that this health information about Vietnam may be out-of-date.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

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

More Common Diseases and Medical Concerns for Vietnam

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

Epidemics for Vietnam

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

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

Vaccinations for Travel to Vietnam

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

  • 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 Vietnam

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

  • 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

Other Relevant Issues for Travel to Vietnam

The following may be issues relevant to travel to Vietnam:

  • adequate medical care is available in Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City, and Vung Tau, but is substandard throughout the rest of the country, hospital beds are limited and modern technology is lacking

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