Your team leaders cannot recommend any immunizations or
medications, but we do encourage you to seek the advice of a travel
medical clinic. If you are living in the United States, you can find a location of one near you by going to www.cdc.gov/travel/contentTravelClinics and clicking on your state. For those of you living outside the United States, we urge you to consult your personal doctor.
The following information concerning immunizations as well as other health concerns is provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia:
visiting Vietnam, you may need to get the following vaccinations and
medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you
might be at risk for at your destination: (Note: Your doctor or
health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on
factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the
country you will be visiting, and planned activities.)
To have the
most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your
trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking
medicine to prevent malaria, if you need it.
Even if you have
less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care
provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications
and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury
CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. Find a travel medicine clinic
near you. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your
travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical
If your travel plans will take you to more than one
country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider
know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and
information for all of your destinations. Long-term travelers, such as
those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional
vaccinations as required by their employer or school.
Although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Vietnam, the government requires some travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever virus transmission
to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. If you will be traveling
to Vietnam from any country other than the United States, this
requirement may affect you. For specific requirement details, see Yellow Fever & Malaria Information, by Country.
Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Check the links below to see which vaccinations adults and children should get.
as they are often called, such as for influenza, chickenpox (or
varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and
diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) are given at all stages of life; see
the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule and routine adult immunization schedule.
vaccines are recommended even if you do not travel. Although childhood
diseases, such as measles, rarely occur in the United States, they are
still common in many parts of the world. A traveler who is not
vaccinated would be at risk for infection.
Vaccine-Preventable DiseasesVaccine recommendations are based
on the best available risk information. Please note that the level of
risk for vaccine-preventable diseases can change at any time.
|Vaccination or Disease||Recommendations or Requirements for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases|
Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots, such as
measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT)
vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.
|Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)|
Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in
countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus
infection (see map)
where exposure might occur through food or water. Cases of
travel-related hepatitis A can also occur in travelers to developing
countries with "standard" tourist itineraries, accommodations, and food
|Hepatitis B |
Recommended for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in
countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission (see map),
especially those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have
sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical
treatment (e.g., for an accident).
for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in Southeast Asia,
especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller
cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food
|Japanese encephalitis |
Recommended if you plan to visit rural farming areas and under special
circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis, see country-specific information.
for travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in rural
areas, involved in activities such as bicycling, camping, or hiking.
Also recommended for travelers with significant occupational risks (such
as veterinarians), for long-term travelers and expatriates living in
areas with a significant risk of exposure, and for travelers involved in
any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats,
carnivores, and other mammals. Children are considered at higher risk
because they tend to play with animals, may receive more severe bites,
or may not report bites. |
Areas of Vietnam with Malaria:
Rural only, except none in the Red River Delta and the coast north of
Nha Trang. Rare cases in the Mekong Delta. None in Da Nang, Haiphong,
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Nha Trang, and Qui Nhon.
If you will be visiting an area of Vietnam with malaria, you will need
to discuss with your doctor the best ways for you to avoid getting sick
with malaria. Ways to prevent malaria include the following:
Taking a prescription antimalarial drug
Using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites
Sleeping in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or using bednets
It is particularly important when traveling to Vietnam that you have
detailed information of where you are going within this country because
malaria prevention recommendations vary depending on where you go within
Some areas of Vietnam have resistance to certain antimalarial drugs.
There are also some areas where the risk of malaria is low, and taking
an antimalarial drug is not recommended. See the malaria information listed by country
to find out the best way for you to prevent malaria for the area you
plan to visit in Vietnam. For detailed information about each of these
drugs, see Table 3-11: Drugs used in the prophylaxis of malaria. For information that can help you and your doctor decide which of these drugs would be best for you, please see Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.
To find out more information on malaria throughout the world, you can use the interactive CDC malaria map.
You can search or browse countries, cities, and place names for more
specific malaria risk information and the recommended prevention
medicines for that area.
Malaria Contact for Health-Care Providers
For assistance with the diagnosis or management of suspected cases of
malaria, call the CDC Malaria Hotline: 770-488-7788 or toll-free
1-855-856-4713 (M-F, 9 am-5 pm, Eastern time). For clinicians needing
emergency consultation after hours, call 770-488-7100 and ask to speak
with a CDC Malaria Branch clinician.
More Information About Malaria
is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. Humans get
malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent
this serious disease by seeing your health-care provider for a
prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against
mosquito bites (see below).
to malaria risk-areas in Vietnam, including infants, children, and
former residents of Vietnam, should take one of the antimalarial drugs
listed in the box above.
Malaria symptoms may include
- body aches
- nausea and vomiting
symptoms will occur at least 7 to 9 days after being bitten by an
infected mosquito. Fever in the first week of travel in a malaria-risk
area is unlikely to be malaria; however, you should see a doctor right
away if you develop a fever during your trip.
Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice. Malaria infections with Plasmodium falciparum,
if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, coma, and death.
Despite using the protective measures outlined above, travelers may
still develop malaria up to a year after returning from a malarious
area. You should see a doctor immediately if you develop a fever anytime
during the year following your return and tell the physician of your
A Special Note about Antimalarial Drugs
should purchase your antimalarial drugs before travel. Drugs purchased
overseas may not be manufactured according to United States standards
and may not be effective. They also may be dangerous, contain
counterfeit medications or contaminants, or be combinations of drugs
that are not safe to use.
Halofantrine (marketed as Halfan) is widely used overseas to treat malaria. CDC recommends that you do NOT use
halofantrine because of serious heart-related side effects, including
deaths. You should avoid using antimalarial drugs that are not
recommended unless you have been diagnosed with life-threatening malaria and no other options are immediately available.
For detailed information about these antimalarial drugs, see Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.
Items to Bring With You
Medicines you may need:
- The prescription medicines you take every day.
Make sure you have enough to last during your trip. Keep them in their
original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. Be sure to follow security guidelines, if the medicines are liquids.
Antimalarial drugs, if traveling to a malaria-risk area in Vietnam and prescribed by your doctor.
- Medicine for diarrhea, usually over-the-counter.
Note: Some drugs available by prescription in the US are illegal in other countries. Check the US Department of State Consular Information Sheets
for the country(s) you intend to visit or the embassy or consulate for
that country(s). If your medication is not allowed in the country you
will be visiting, ask your health-care provider to write a letter on
office stationery stating the medication has been prescribed for you.
Other items you may need:
Iodine tablets and portable water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available. See A Guide to Water Filters, A Guide to Commercially-Bottled Water and Other Beverages, and Safe Food and Water for more detailed information.
Sunblock and sunglasses for protection from harmful effects of UV sun rays. See Basic Information about Skin Cancer for more information.
Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
To prevent insect/mosquito bites, bring:
Lightweight long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat to wear outside, whenever possible.
Flying-insect spray to help clear rooms of mosquitoes. The product
should contain a pyrethroid insecticide; these insecticides quickly kill
flying insects, including mosquitoes.
Bed nets treated with permethrin, if you will not be sleeping in an
air-conditioned or well-screened room and will be in malaria-risk areas.
For use and purchasing information, see Insecticide Treated Bed Nets
on the CDC malaria site. Overseas, permethrin or another insecticide,
deltamethrin, may be purchased to treat bed nets and clothes.
See other suggested over-the-counter medications and first aid items for a travelers' health kit.
Note: Check the Air Travel section of the Transportation Security Administration website for the latest information about airport screening procedures and prohibited items.
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Other Diseases Found in Southeast Asia
can vary between countries within this region and also within a
country; the quality of in-country surveillance also varies.
The following are disease risks that might affect travelers; this is
not a complete list of diseases that can be present. Environmental
conditions may also change, and up to date information about risk by
regions within a country may also not always be available.
Dengue, chikungunya, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, and plague are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.
pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) continues to cause outbreaks in
domestic and wild bird populations and has caused human cases in several
countries in Southeast Asia. In 2006, the virus continued to spread in
poultry populations in Indonesia. Avoid all direct contact with birds,
including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds,
and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds
are raised or kept. For a current list of countries reporting
outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.
Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) to avoid infection with schistosomiasis. Leptospirosis,
a bacterial infection often contracted through recreational water
activities in contaminated water, such as kayaking, is common in
tropical areas of Southeast Asia. An outbreak was reported in Borneo
among expedition travelers in 2000.
transmission persists in the region, although vaccination coverage is
improving in some countries in Southeast Asia. Influenza infections can
occur throughout the year in tropical areas.
Polio resurfaced in Indonesia in 2005. Imported cases in neighboring countries have occasionally occurred.
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Staying Healthy During Your Trip
Prevent Insect Bites
Many diseases, like malaria and dengue, are spread through insect bites. One of the best protections is to prevent insect bites by:
Using insect repellent (bug spray) with 30%-50% DEET. Picaridin,
available in 7% and 15% concentrations, needs more frequent application.
There is less information available on how effective picaridin is at
protecting against all of the types of mosquitoes that transmit malaria.
Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat outdoors.
Remaining indoors in a screened or air-conditioned area during the peak biting period for malaria (dusk and dawn).
Sleeping in beds covered by nets treated with permethrin, if not sleeping in an air-conditioned or well-screened room.
Spraying rooms with products effective against flying insects, such as those containing pyrethroid.
For detailed information about insect repellent use, see Insect and Arthropod Protection.
Prevent Animal Bites and Scratches
Direct contact with
animals can spread diseases like rabies or cause serious injury or
illness. It is important to prevent animal bites and scratches.
- Be sure you are up to date with tetanus vaccination.
not touch or feed any animals, including dogs and cats. Even animals
that look like healthy pets can have rabies or other diseases.
- Help children stay safe by supervising them carefully around all animals.
- If you are bitten or scratched, wash the wound well with soap and water and go to a doctor right away.
- After your trip, be sure to tell your doctor or state health department if you were bitten or scratched during travel.
For more information about rabies and travel, see the Rabies chapter of the Yellow Book or CDC's Rabies homepage. For more information about how to protect yourself from other risks related to animals, see Animal-Associated Hazards.
Be Careful about Food and Water
Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers. Follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:
your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating. If
soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at
least 60% alcohol).
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or
carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water,
fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.
- Do not eat food purchased from street vendors.
- Make sure food is fully cooked.
- Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.
from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure to
bring diarrhea medicine with you so that you can treat mild cases
Car crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from these injuries by:
- Not drinking and driving.
- Wearing your seat belt and using car seats or booster seats in the backseat for children.
- Following local traffic laws.
- Wearing helmets when you ride bikes, motorcycles, and motor bikes.
- Not getting on an overloaded bus or mini-bus.
- Hiring a local driver, when possible.
- Avoiding night driving.
Other Health Tips
- To avoid infections such as HIV and viral hepatitis do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing, or injections.
- To reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases always use latex condoms.
prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and
do not go barefoot, especially on beaches where animals may have
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After You Return Home
If you are not feeling well, you should see your doctor and mention
that you have recently traveled. Also tell your doctor if you were
bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.
If you have
visited a malaria-risk area, continue taking your antimalarial drug for 4
weeks (doxycycline or mefloquine) or seven days (atovaquone/proguanil)
after leaving the risk area.
Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If
you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness either while traveling
in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you
should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the physician your travel history.
Important Note: This
document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region.
Consult with your doctor for specific information related to your needs
and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women,
young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.