Know Your Vaccinations for Visiting or Staying in Thailand
Although health facilities in Thailand are of a high standard it is still prudent to be aware of the risk of any infection or disease and take proper steps to get protection from them. Risk factors to be taken into consideration include location, whether in rural areas or in towns and cities, time of year, altitude, length of stay, present health and past history of health including age etc. The table below gives a brief description of some of the more common health issues and vaccinations for either travel or long term stay in Thailand.
Malaria: Prophylaxis with Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) or doxycycline is recommended for rural areas bordering Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, including Mae Hong Son. Rare local cases have been reported from Phang Nga and Phuket; insect protection measures but not malaria pills are not recommended for these two areas.
Dengue Fever: a flu-like illness sometimes complicated by hemorrhage or shock, is highly prevalent in Thailand. The number of cases usually peaks during the rainy season (ranging from May through November), when mosquitoes proliferate. A total of 26,000 cases and 33 deaths were reported nationwide for the first four months of 2013. A dengue outbreak was reported from Phuket in April 2013, causing more than 300 cases. Dengue is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite primarily in the daytime and favor densely populated areas, though they also inhabit rural environments. No vaccine is available at this time. Insect protection measures are strongly advised such as covering exposed areas of the body especially early morning and early evening, mosquito repellent, and removing any areas of stagnant water in the vicinity of your home.
Hepatitis A: vaccine is recommended for all travelers over one year of age. It should be given at least two weeks (preferably four weeks or more) before departure. A booster should be given 6-12 months later to confer long-term immunity
Hepatitis B: vaccine is recommended for all travelers if not previously vaccinated. Two vaccines are currently licensed in the United States: A full series consists of three intramuscular doses given at 0, 1 and 6 months. Engerix-B is also approved for administration at 0, 1, 2, and 12 months, which may be appropriate for travelers departing in less than 6 months. Side-effects are generally mild and may include discomfort at the injection site and low-grade fever. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) occur rarely.
Any animal bite or scratch should be thoroughly cleaned with large amounts of soap and water and local health authorities should be contacted immediately for possible post-exposure treatment, whether or not the person has been immunized against rabies.
For more information on vaccinations contact Phyathai Sriracha Hospital on international number 087 – 1000990 Email: [email protected] www.phyathai-sriracha.com