Are Malaria Tablets Needed For Vietnam?

Malaria is a tropical disease spread by the female mosquito who is carrying a parasite. Malaria is a serious illness that can be fatal if not treated correctly.  You cannot have a vaccine for the disease but you can take tablets to prevent infection. Mosquitos thrive in tropical climates that are warm and damp.

The Plasmodium parasite enters the bloodstream infecting the host.  Areas that are high risk include; Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Pacific Islands and the Middle East.  The risks vary within these countries so you need to check if your holiday destination is high risk.

Travellers to the UK are not at risk of catching malaria because the climate is not tropical. Some people return from their holidays very ill from the condition. Malaria is a serious illness so it is vitally important that you make sure you take precautions if necessary.

Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful destination as famous for its complex history as its stunning views and culinary delights.  For 500,000 years the occupants of Vietnam have resisted Chinese domination, European wars, communism, civil war, Japanese occupation and American intervention. China, Laos Cambodia and Thailand surround Vietnam in the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia.

All of the turmoil and breathtaking landscapes make Vietnam one of the most interesting countries to visit. Visitors flock to the country’s beaches, rivers, Buddhist influence, the scars of communism and exquisite cuisine.  Visitors hungry for history and culture will enjoy visiting ancient sites and ornate buildings.  The tempestuous history of the area has enriched every aspect of the civilisation like a volcano enriches the soil.

Food in Vietnam is inspired by Chinese ingredients and techniques.  During the last twenty years, the country has become more famous for its food and culture rather than battles.  Meals usually consist of rice, noodles, fish, pork and a generous helping of Soy sauce.  Noodle fans will be in their element because they are served with everything and extremely popular.

Malaria Risk

Vietnam is predominantly a low-risk country surrounded by high-risk countries.  This means that there is still a Malaria risk however small.  Travellers to rural areas require significantly more vaccinations than visitors to the city.  All travellers require the following vaccinations; Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid.  People who are going on treks also require; Hepatitis B and Rabies.  Rural visitors need to add; Diphtheria, Meningococcal Meningitis, Tuberculosis and Japanese B Encephalitis.   

The World Health Organisation recognises that there is a Malaria risk in some areas of the country so precautions may have to be taken. Discuss your destination with your doctor or travel agent for more information. Mosquitoes still bite and spread infections in low-risk areas so applying insect repellent, wearing loose clothing and sleeping under a mosquito net is a good idea. Malaria is a serious condition so it is better to be cautious than to take risks.

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