Vietnam Travel Health Advice
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Health risks in Vietnam include Hepatitis A and E, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, bilharzia, plague, cholera, diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS. There have been outbreaks of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in Vietnam as recently as November 2010. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for travel outside the main cities and towns, the Red River delta and north of Nha Trang. There has been an increase in the amount reported cases of dengue fever in recent years, and visitors should take care to protect themselves from mosquito bites during the day, especially just after dawn and just before dusk, particularly in the southern Mekong Delta region. Travellers should seek medical advice about vaccinations at least three weeks before leaving for Vietnam and ensure they have adequate insect protection. Typhoid can be a problem in the Mekong Delta. Those arriving from an infected area require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Water is potable, but visitors usually prefer to drink bottled water. Decent health care is available in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) with English-speaking doctors, and there is a surgical clinic in Da Nang, but more complicated treatment may require medical evacuation. Pharmacies throughout the country are adequate, but check expiry dates of medicines carefully, and be aware that some medicines are counterfeit. Health insurance is essential.
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