Laos Travel Health Advice
Those planning to travel to Laos should seek medical advice about vaccinations and endemic diseases at least three weeks prior to departure. Malaria exists throughout the country except in Vientiane, and typhoid and cholera occur in some areas. A typhoid vaccine is recommended for all travellers, except short-term travellers who will restrict their meals to major restaurants and hotels. Other risks include hepatitis E, plague, dengue fever, and Schistosomiasis if swimming in the Mekong River. Travellers' diarrhoea is a problem for many visitors; only drink bottled water and avoid dairy products, uncooked meat and fish, salads and unpeeled fruit.
Medical care in Vientiane is extremely basic and outside the capital there are no reliable facilities to deal with medical emergencies. Medical evacuation is difficult to organise and very expensive. Travellers are advised to take out comprehensive medical insurance, and those who have an unstable medical condition should consider avoiding Laos. A yellow fever certificate is required by all entering from an infected area.
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