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FAQ

How to keep healthy when travelling in Vietnam?

Page last updated 14 November 2018

The standard of healthcare facilities in Vietnam varies from place to place. So it is important you a prepared before heading off on your trip.  

See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before departure to discuss your travel health requirements.

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 in Vietnam is not safe to drink. 
  • Drink bottled or filtered water only and check the plastic seal on bottled water is intact (some stores have been known to sell boiled water in recycled bottles). Avoid adding ice to your drinks, and check that salad and fruit have been washed with filtered water prior to consumption. 
  • Traveller's diarrhoea is common in Vietnam. 
  • Important ways to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea include:
    • ensure you wash your hands with soap and water regularly 
    • where possible, opt for fully cooked fresh food and only eat fruit that you peel yourself. 
    • avoid mosquito bites, as you may be at risk of contracting illnesses such as Japanese encephalitis (JE) or malaria in some rural parts of Vietnam. 
  • Speak with your healthcare professional about whether or not you might need medication or vaccination, 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 a deadly disease and considered a risk in Vietnam. It is spread by the bite, lick or scratch of an infected animal, such as a dog or a monkey. Avoid close contact with wild and domestic animals, this is especially important for children. Do not carry food around, or feed/play with monkeys or other animals. Vaccinations for rabies are available – your doctor can advise whether vaccinations are required for your trip.
  • Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, human papillomavirus, herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV.
  • 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. Travelers’ Health. Health Information for Travelers to Vietnam. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/vietnam [accessed 30 May 2018].
  2. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Country Health Advice – Vietnam. Food & Water Safety: Overview. Available at: https://www.iamat.org/country/vietnam/risk/food-water-safety-overview [accessed 30 May 2018].
  3. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Country Health Advice – Vietnam. General Health Risks: Sexually Transmitted Infections. Available at: https://www.iamat.org/country/vietnam/risk/sexually-transmitted-infections [accessed 30 May 2018].

SPANZ.TRAV.18.04.0158a - Date of preparation July 2018