This viral infection of the brain is contracted through the bite
of mosquitoes that prevail in rural agricultural areas. It is
found in many Eastern and Southeastern Asian countries, primarily
in the rural and suburban areas. Similar to malaria, the disease
can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bite during the night time.
Travelers who plan to spend their time exposing to rural environment
in these regions for over several months are recommended to take
Japanese encephalitis vaccination before entry.
fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever
These diseases are endemic in Southeast Asia. Dengue
virus causes them from the bite of aedes mosquito that lives in
the houses and their neighborhood. This mosquito bites during
Dengue infection in local people, mostly children, often results
in fever with bleeding in the skin and other organs (dengue hemorrhagic
fever) which is sometime fatal; but for travelers from non-endemic
areas, the infection usually manifests as fever with rash in the
skin, severe headache and muscle and pains (dengue fever), which
is usually non-fatal.
Dengue infection is common in the rainy season (approximately
May to September in Thailand) when aedes mosquito is abundant.
Travelers visiting local households or their vicinity, especially
in the rainy season, should be using mosquito repellent even in
the daytime. One who is ill with symptoms suspected of dengue
infection should seek medical consultation to establish the cause
of the illness.
Rabies can be found in many animals especially dogs and cats.
Although Thailand has been working toward elimination of the disease
and the situation has been much improved, travelers are recommended
to take prevention if their travel itineraries allow possible
exposure to animal bites.
Those who plan walking sightseeing in local communities should
consider having pre-exposure rabies vaccination before starting
off. Three intra-muscular injections of cell-culture rabies vaccine
are required. In case of exposure to animals without prior vaccination,
the pose-exposure vaccination is usually effective if it is initiated
without delay. However, for those who have had pre-exposure vaccination,
if they are bitten, they should also seek prompt consultation
with the physician for evaluation and consideration for booster
Diarrhea is mostly caused by infection of food and drinks contaminated
with bacteria of viruses. To prevent diarrhea, avoid uncooked
food and drink only boiled or bottled or carbonated water. Food
served at street vendors should be considered at risk. Fresh vegetables
and fruits should be adequately washed with clean water. Fresh
salad should be taken only from a salad bar or a restaurant of
hygienic standard. Faucet water in many Southeast Asian cities
is claimed to be safe for drinking, but it is still advisable
to stick to safety precautions.
Danger from diarrhea primarily is the result of the loss of water
and electrolytes from the body. If you happen to have diarrhea
during your travel, the most helpful remedy is drinking electrolyte
solution to replace the loss. Therefore, it is always useful to
keep some electrolyte solution packets in your first-aid kit.
If your diarrhea gets worse or does not improve within 12 - 24
hours, consult the physicians for proper investigation and treatment.
Typhoid fever has become uncommon among Thai people. However,
travelers should not neglect taking prevention against this food
and water borne disease. Precaution measures for diarrhea, as
mentioned above, are effective for typhoid as well. It is also
recommended that the travelers receive typhoid vaccination, in
injectable or oral form, before start of the journey.
However, those who need initiation or booster vaccination can
find the service at most hospitals and clinics in Thailand.
transmitted diseases and HIV / AIDS
Urethritis remains the most common treatable sexually transmitted
disease (STD) among tourists to Asia. Gonorrhea from Southeast
Asia in frequently multi-drug resistant. While syphilis become
less common, HIV / AIDS is spreading at worrisome speeds in most
Asian countries, resulting mostly from unprotected sexual contacts.
Promiscuous sex anywhere can be dangerous. For travelers, local
sex workers, either of explicate or concealed types, are potential
sources of STDs and HIV / AIDS. All casual sex should be avoided
or strictly protected with the use of condoms. Danger from intravenous
drug use with sharing of needles and syringes cannot be overemphasized.
However, blood transfusion at all medical centers in Thailand
is considered safe as intensive screening of donated blood for
HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis is implemented nationwide.
There are two major groups of viral hepatitis. Hepatitis spread
by contaminated food and water, hepatitis A and E, are endemic
in many parts of Asia. Most local people are immune to these types
of hepatitis through natural infection, but travelers from better
hygienic environments can be receptive to infection. Therefore,
travelers are recommended to practice prevention measures against
food and water borne diseases, as suggested for diarrhea. An alternative
protection for hepatitis A is the immunization with hyper-immune
serum or hepatitis A
vaccine. Consult with the physician at an established medical
service for the immunization.
Another group of hepatitis; hepatitis B, C and D; are transmitted
through contaminated blood and sexual contacts, or passed from
infected mothers to their babies at the time of birth; similar
to the ways HIV / AIDS is transmitted. This group of hepatitis
can be simultaneously and effectively avoided if precautions against
HIV / AIDS are strictly taken. However, for those who require
immunization, effective vaccine against hepatitis B is available
at most medical service.
you are ill during your stay in Thailand, consult the physician
at any :
information, please contact :
|- Community hospital,
|- Provincial hospital,
|- Medical center, or
|- Private hospital or
Disease Control Section,
Division of General Communicable Diseases,
Department of Communicable Disease Control,
Ministry of Public Health,
Tel. 0 - 2286 - 5114
|Airport Health Office,
Tel. 0 - 2535 - 1482
|Port Health Office,
Tel. 0 - 2249 - 4110
Source : Department of Communicable Disease Control, Ministry
of Public Health.