Information & Advice
Vietnam is a beautiful country and one often frequented by people travelling around Asia. Its rich history makes it a very popular destination for people travelling the world, but as with all forms of travel it's not without its dangers. There are a number of diseases you could encounter is Vietnam, including rabies and Japanese encephalitis.
Below are some of the diseases you may need protection against when you're in Vietnam.
Malaria is a risk in the southern provinces of Tay Ninh, Lam Dong, Dac Lac, Gia Lai and Kon Tum, as well as in all other rural areas of the country. The risk is very low in the Mekong River delta up to the border with Cambodia.
Malaria is a blood infection which can be fatal. It's transmitted by mosquitoes, so it's best to avoid being bitten by taking steps like using mosquito nets and insect repellent.
Anti-malaria tablets may be recommended to you depending on your travel plans. Our pharmacists can help you work out which ones are suitable for you.
Yellow fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes and can be fatal in some people, but there is no transmission risks in Vietnam.
However, you'll need a certificate proving you've had a vaccination if you are travelling to Vietnam from a country where yellow fever exists.
Your pharmacist will give you the latest advice for your trip.
Rabies is a serious viral infection which affects the nervous system and is almost always fatal unless treated early.
It's passed onto humans when broken skin comes into contact with the saliva of an infected domestic or wild animal. The most commonly infected animals are dogs. You are at higher risk in remote areas where access to medical care may be limited.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread through poor sanitation. Symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Those at increased risk are travellers visiting friends and relatives. All travellers are advised to maintain good personal, food and water hygiene measures.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver infection caught from contaminated food and water. The risk is higher in areas with poor sanitation, so taking steps like washing your hands after using the toilet is important.
Hepatitis B is a viral liver disease spread through infected blood and other bodily fluids. The risk is higher for certain people, like those having unprotected sex.
Cholera is a bacterial infection which can cause watery diarrhoea. It is transmitted through eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water. Travellers are advised to maintain good personal, food and water hygiene measures.
This brain infection is spread by mosquitoes and symptoms include paralysis and seizures.
The transmission season runs from May to October and you'll be at greater risk of catching it in and around the Hanoi area.
A persistent cough is typical of tuberculosis (TB), which is spread in a similar way to colds and flu. Most travellers in Vietnam are at a low risk of contracting TB, but they should avoid close contact with people who suffer with infectious pulmonary TB.
Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria and can lead to the tightening of muscles in the body which can affect swallowing and breathing. If you've not had a tetanus dose in the last 10 years then a booster dose may be advised.
Diphtheria is a highly contagious bacterial infection and usually affects the nose and throat. If you've not had a diphtheria dose in the last 10 years then you may consider a booster dose.
Getting vaccinated can help prevent you from becoming ill if you are exposed to these diseases. Our pharmacists will help you understand the factors that increase your risk and can help you work out which vaccinations to get depending on things like:
You can use our quick check tool to get a list of diseases that may be present in the country and vaccinations to consider for your destination.
We recommend booking an appointment with a Boots pharmacist six to eight weeks before you travel. However, even if time is short, we can still help you with options to consider.
No matter where you are travelling to, it's recommended your childhood immunisations are up to date for:
Vaccinations for the following conditions are usually available free on the NHS:
These vaccinations protect against diseases which are considered to be the greatest risk to public health if they were brought into the country.
For more information on common travel immunisations, why not visit BootsWebMD?
From insect repellent to sunscreen, our travel checklist will help you pack for your trip.
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