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FAQ

How to keep healthy when travelling in Thailand?

Page last updated 14 November 2018

The standard of healthcare facilities in Thailand vary quite a bit to what we have here in Australia, so it is important you a prepared before heading off on your trip.

Before travelling 

  • Register your trip with Smart Traveller 
  • Make sure you have enough of your regular prescription medicines;
  • Ensure you’re up-to-date with your routine vaccinations 
  • Take out travel insurance - to cover you and your family for medical and other costs resulting from unexpected incidents and accidents
  • Put together a travel kit with medication for pain, diarrhoeal medicine, oral rehydration salts, antiseptic lotion or ointment, adhesive bandages and other wound dressings, insect repellent, sunscreen, latex gloves, thermometer, motion sickness medicine, water purification tablets and compression stockings

During travel 

  • The tap water is Thailand is not safe to drink.  Only drink bottled or filtered water and check the seal on water bottles. Tap water used for drinking, burshing your teeth and making ice cubes, should first be boiled.
  • Traveller's diarrhoea is common in Thailand. The best method to protect yourself is to ensure you wash your hands regularly. Where possible opt for fully cooked fresh food and only eat fruit that you peel yourself.
  • Avoid mosquito bites, , as malaria is considered a risk to some travellers in Thailand, particularly those visiting rural areas. There is currently a risk in Thailand of Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever and zika virus which are also transmitted by mosquitoes. 
    Speak with your healthcare professional about whether or not you might need medication for malaria, 4-6 weeks prior to your departure. You can further protect yourself with insect repellent, wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs, and staying in accommodation that has air conditioning, fly nets or screened windows provided. 
  • Rabies is not a major risk to most traveller’s in Thailand. However, if you’re planning to travel the more remote areas or take part in outdoor activities that may expose you to animal bites, you may wish to consider pre-exposure vaccinations. Your doctor can advise whether vaccinations are required for your trip.
  • Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.
  • Diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B can also be spread through fluids such as blood and semen. To protect yourself, do not inject drugs, do not share needles or devices that can break the skin including those used for tattooing, piercings or acupuncture. Vaccinations are available for hepatitis B. 
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Sources & Citations

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health information for Travelers to Thailand. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/thailand?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001 [accessed 29 May 2018].
  2. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Country Health Advise, Thailand. Food & Water Safety: Overview. Available at: https://www.iamat.org/country/thailand/risk/food-water-safety-overview [accessed 30 May 2018].

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0163a - Date of preparation July 2018.