India Travel Health Advice
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There are many health risks associated with travel to India and although no vaccinations are required for entry into the country travellers should take medical advice on vaccinations at least three weeks before departure. Outbreaks of dengue fever and chikungunya virus occur, both transmitted by mosquitoes. Malaria outbreaks are common in areas above 6,562 feet (2,000m), particularly in the northeast of the country. Outbreaks of cholera occur frequently. Travellers from an infected area should hold a yellow fever certificate. Rabies is also a hazard, and should you get bitten by a dog, cat or rat it is best to consult a medical practitioner immediately. Travellers to the Himalayan Mountains should also be aware of the risks of altitude sickness.
Food poisoning is a risk in India: all water and ice should be regarded as contaminated, and visitors should drink only bottled water and ensure that the seal on the bottle is intact. Meat and fish should be regarded as suspect in all but the best restaurants, and should always be well cooked and served hot. Salads and unpeeled fruit should be avoided. Diarrhea is common among travellers to India and is best treated with re-hydration salts; however, if symptoms persist for more than two days visiting a private hospital is recommended.
Health facilities are adequate in the larger cities, but limited in rural areas. Travellers should have comprehensive medical insurance, and carry a standard first-aid kit complete with a course of general antibiotics.
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