Travelling to Thailand - Health precautions to consider

Over the last 20 years, Thailand has become one of the most popular travelling destinations for people from the UK. It is an amazing place to visit, and we would want you to experience Thailand to the full. Therefore, it is very important to consider your travel health precautions before your trip.

Vaccinations to consider when travelling to Thailand include:

Typhoid and Hepatitis A

How is the disease spread?

You contract Hepatitis A and Typhoid from food and water, for example people preparing your food who are carriers and who have not washed their hands properly. Both diseases will make you ill for about a month. In some cases, you can feel very unwell and even be hospitalised.

What does the vaccination involve?

Hepatitis A and Typhoid are injections that can be given either together or separately. Typhoid lasts three years. With Hepatitis A you have one injection and then a booster six to twelve months later. If you have missed your booster the London Travel Clinic can provide you with a booster at a later date.

Tetanus, Diphtheria or Polio

What does the vaccination involve?

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio (DTP) is one injection. It is advised that you have this injection every ten years, regardless of your previous medical history. It’s an injection in the top of the arm (intramuscular) which can lead to an aching arm for about twenty-four hours, but this is however a very important vaccination to consider.

Hepatitis B

How is the disease spread?

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease. You get it from bodily fluids or blood. Travellers are at risk when they have medical intervention in a developing country as equipment may not be sterilised. You may also catch Hepatitis B from sex, tattoos, or intravenous drug use.

What does the vaccination involve?

The vaccination itself is three injections over a specific schedule that a nurse will discuss with you. If you need to be vaccinated quickly you can have three injections over a month.

Rabies

How is the disease spread?

The Rabies disease is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. A bite or even a scratch that draws blood could mean that you have been exposed to Rabies. Children are at much more high risk of getting bitten as they are more likely to stroke stray dogs and cats. It is therefore important to consider this vaccination for your children as well.

Why is this vaccination important?

The importance of getting a Rabies vaccination is to do with proximity and quality of health care. If you have not been vaccinated you will have to go to a hospital within twelve hours of being bitten by an animal. Having a vaccination stops you having to do this; you have two days to find a hospital which puts you in a much safer position.

What does the vaccination involve?

The Rabies vaccination consists of three injections over twenty-one or twenty-eight days. It is very important that you have the full course before you go. You will not be fully protected without all of the three injections.

Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis is quite a serious disease, a third of people that contract Japanese Encephalitis die and many people can be left with serious neurological problems. It is really important to talk to your nurse about this in order to see whether you fit in to the risk categories.

How is the disease spread?

Japanese Encephalitis is spread by the bite of a mosquito. It is more common in rural areas, the hosts are pigs and wading birds. There is still a risk of contracting the disease in urban areas and it is important to talk to a nurse about what your risk may be.

What does the vaccination involve?

You have one injection on the first day that you visit us and twenty-eight days later you have your second injection. It usually lasts between two and three years so it is important to maintain boosters if you regularly visit areas of the world where this disease is prevalent.

What other precautions should I take?

It is very important to take bite avoidance measures, so use mosquito repellent and a net to avoid yourself getting bitten by mosquitos.

The information in this blog is very general and it is important you go to see a nurse and have a full risk assessment and your history taken into account before you decide on what vaccinations you need. Please visit our Thailand destination page for the most current information or book a free consultation with one of our nurses.

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