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Laos Travel Health Advice

Travellers planning to visit Laos should seek medical advice about vaccinations and endemic diseases at least three weeks prior to departure. With the exception of Vientiane, malaria exists throughout the country, and typhoid and cholera occur in some areas. A typhoid vaccine is recommended for all travellers, except short-term visitors who will restrict their meals to hotels and major restaurants. Other risks include hepatitis E, plague, dengue fever, and Schistosomiasis if swimming in the Mekong River. Travellers' diarrhoea is a problem for many visitors. The best policy would be to only drink bottled water and avoid dairy products, uncooked meat and fish, salads and unpeeled fruit.

Medical care in Vientiane is extremely basic, and there are no reliable facilities to deal with medical emergencies outside the capital. As medical evacuation is difficult to organise and very expensive, travellers are advised to take out comprehensive medical insurance. Visitors who have an unstable medical condition should consider avoiding Laos. A yellow fever certificate is required from anyone entering from an infected area.

View information on diseases:

Cholera, Dengue Fever, Hepatitis E, Malaria, Plague, Schistosomiasis (bilharzia), Typhoid fever

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