If you are planning on going on holiday to Thailand, it’s important that you understand the different health risks involved with journeying to this destination and ensure that you are fully prepared and protected against the worst. A range of diseases and viruses are widespread in Thailand and the surrounding areas which are very uncommon in Britain; meaning that if you travel without being vaccinated properly you are putting yourself at very high risk of catching dangerous diseases as your immune system will be unprepared to fight them off. The risks to health when visiting Thailand can vary from person to person, and location to location, but these are just some of the main vaccinations which you shouldn’t put off getting before you go. Below is the list of those vaccinations that you can refer to when visiting a nearby clinic or pharmacy for travel vaccinations and get yourself administered.
Diphtheria is a disease which is spread between people through respiratory droplets. If you are planning on staying in an area of Thailand such as the small islands in the South where you can mix with locals who live in poorly maintained and overcrowded areas with bad living conditions, you’ll be at a higher risk of catching this disease without a vaccination.
Hepatitis B is seen by many as mainly a sexually transmitted infection, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you won’t be at risk of catching it if you don’t have sex. Hepatitis B can be spread through many other ways, including through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and other medical products. You can be exposed to this disease through cuts and scratches and you will at a higher risk if you need to have surgery during your stay.
This disease is spread through the mosquito bites of an infected mosquito, meaning that it’s crucial you are vaccinated against it before any trip to Thailand as although you can take as many precautions as possible there is no guarantee that you will not be bitten. This vaccine is especially important if you’re planning to visit areas such as Chiang Mai where annual outbreaks have been reported. However, those travelling through Bangkok will also want to receive this vaccine as sporadic cases have been described in the suburbs.
Rabies is spread through the saliva of an animal infected with the disease, usually through a bite – but you can still catch it if an infected dog, for example licks your skin in an area where you have a cut or scratch. It is absolutely crucial to have a rabies vaccination before travelling to Thailand as the disease can be deadly, and rabid animals can be found throughout the country, even on the tourist islands and in Bangkok. Even if you have been vaccinated, it’s vital to seek immediate medical attention if you are exposed to rabies during your trip.
Tetanus is another one of the inoculations required for Thailand which you can get at The London Travel Clinic. This disease is spread through the contamination of cuts, burns and other wounds with tetanus spores which can be found in soil worldwide. You may have already had a tetanus vaccination in the UK, but it is still advisable to have a booster if you are planning to travel to Thailand.
Do take the location you will be travelling to into consideration and speak to a travel clinic if you have any queries. Those who are travelling to Chiang Mai and off the beaten track will require more vaccinations than those travelling to Bangkok and the islands.