homeVietnam travel guide > Vietnam health
Vietnam guide
Traveler café 
Travel directory
Last updated : Nov 2009
Vietnam Health
Vietnam Health - TravelPuppy.com
  Precautions Certificate mandatory
1) A yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory for tourists more than 1 years old who arrive within 6 days of traveling to infected areas.

2) According to WHO guidelines issued in 1973, a cholera vaccination certificate is not required to enter Vietnam. However, cholera is an extremely bad risk in Vietnam and precautions are highly recommended. The latest advice should be sought before deciding whether or not to receive a vaccination. Medical opinion is split over its effectiveness. For additional details, read the Health appendix.

3) Vaccination against typhoid is recommended.

4) Malaria risk is present all year round everywhere aside from urban areas, the Red River delta and the coastal plains north of Nha Trang. The highest risk is in the southern provinces of Ca Mau and Bac Lieu, and highland areas. The malignant falciparum form is said to be extremely resistant to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine.

Food & drink

All water should be considered as being possibly contaminated. Water used for brushing teeth, drinking, or making ice must first be boiled or sterilised. Milk should be boiled as it is unpasteurised. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is recommended, but make sure that it's reconstituted with clean water. Avoid dairy products that may have been made from un boiled milk. Only well-cooked meat and fish, especially served hot should be eaten. Pork, salad and mayonnaise may carry high risk. Fruit should be peeled and Vegetables be cooked.

Other risks

Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is endemic in the Mekong delta. Don't swim or paddle in fresh water. Chlorinated and well maintained swimming pools are safe.

Japanese encephalitis
is a risk in rural areas and in Hanoi. A vaccine is available and travellers should consult their doctor before departure.

Hepatitis A, B and E occur; take precautions.

Dengue fever frequently occurs, and filariasis is always present in some rural areas.

Typhoid fever, amoebic and bacillary dysentery sometimes occur.

Trachoma and plague rarely occur

Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival is recommended. If you are bitten, seek medical advice immediately. For more information, read the Health appendix.

Health care

Hospitals are available in larger towns and cities, and health centres are available in all the provinces, but facilities are limited throughout the country and there is a shortage of medicines. Health insurance is very necessary and should include coverage for emergency evacuation by air. Immediate cash payment is required for services.
Useful travel links
MASTA medical advise for tourists
No jet lag all about jet lag
WHO official web site of the World Health Organization