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Travel tips for Southeast Asia

24 Oct 2017

Vaccinations you need to know for diseases when you travel in Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and other destinations in Southeast Asia

You are planning a trip or a long weekend away in Southeast Asia; you have all the travel logistic sorted hotels, flights and so on… you have already checked all the activities, restaurants and bars but don’t forget the most important, health! Make sure to check with your doctor what injections are required depending on your destination. Don’t assume that every destination you travel to in Southeast Asia is similar in terms of diseases, therefore vaccination and treatment guidance may vary.  

Here is a list of the diseases you should be aware when you travel in the region and how to avoid them.

 

Hepatitis A  

Often contracted through contaminated food or water, Hepatitis A will cause viral inflammation of the liver.

Symptoms: a sudden onset of fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).

Prevention: two jab vaccine (given six to 12 months apart) for immunity that lasts 10 years. Average price before GST S$ 142.

Travel info: Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam

 

Hepatitis B

A viral inflammation of the liver, contracted through blood, blood products, and bodily fluids. Modes of transmission include dirty needles (like in tattoo places), blood transfusions, and sexual contact. 

Symptoms: a sudden fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dark urine, joint pain, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).

Prevention: Three vaccines over six months are required (second vaccine 1 month after the first dose and the third dose 6 months after) – followed by a blood test to check immunity – for lifelong protection. Average price before GST S$ 159.

Travel info: Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam

 

Typhoid

A bacterial infection spread by contaminated food and water.

Symptoms:  lasting high fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headache, and loss of appetite.

Prevention: Through one simple vaccine. It lasts two to three years, so be sure to keep yours up to date. Average price before GST S$ 30.

Travel info: Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia

 

Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis

A trio of bacterial infections. Diphteria is spread through coughing and sneezing. Tetanus commonly found in soil and can get into the body through any type of break in the skin, such as wounds, burns, or animal bites. Pertussis also called ‘whooping cough’ causes violent, uncontrollable coughing that can make it difficult to breathe.

Symptoms: Diphteria; fever, sore throat, and a thick coat in the throat and nose. Neck swelling and skin sores can also occur. Tetanus; is often called “lockjaw” because the jaw muscles tighten, and the person cannot open their mouth. Pertussis; rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop,” vomiting, and exhaustion.

Prevention: Combo vaccine that lasts for 10 years. Average price before GST S$ 37.

Travel info: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam

 

Polio

A highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system spread by person-to-person contact. Children younger than 5 years old are more likely to contract the virus than any other group.

Symptoms: Most people with polio do not feel sick.

Prevention: We are supposedly all vaccinated for this viral infection at a young age, don’t forget to get your booster jab if you haven’t had one within the last 10 years. Average price before GST S$ 100.

Travel info: Cambodia, Malaysia

 

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that is spread in the saliva of infected animals. People usually get rabies from licks, bites, or scratches from infected dogs and other animals such as bats, foxes, raccoons, and mongooses.

Symptoms: incubation periods can range from a few days to six years. Onset of rabies begins with flu-like symptoms, including: fever, muscle weakness, tingling. You may also feel burning at the bite site.

Prevention: 3-shot series (days 0, 7, and 21 or 28). Average price before GST S$ 510.

Travel info: Worldwide (from both wild and domesticated animals)

 

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis (JE), is an infection of the brain caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus.

Symptoms: swelling around the brain and coma. JE is a serious disease that may cause death.

Prevention: 6 weeks before your trip, JE vaccine is given in 2 doses that are spaced over a month. Average price before GST S$ 350.

Travel info: Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam

 

 

 

Now that you’ve seen all the vaccines needed for your trips in south-east asia, you may consider covering yourself while overseas. Check-out our article to know what a travel insurance is, and if you need to buy one!

 

To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles. To understand, how your health insurance plans cover healthcare costs, you can approach UEX‘s happiness team by email or by phone for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!

With UEX, you can obtain a quote for a health insurance contract customized to your needs and requirements – all in less than a minute!

 

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Institut Pasteur

 

October 2017


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