Thailand is a beautiful and inexpensive destination for a holiday. Tourists are treated to paradise through pristine beaches, dense jungles, and delicious foods. However, it is always important to be prepared for the potentially dangerous diseases found in foreign countries. So, is there yellow Fever in Thailand?
No, there is no risk of Yellow Fever in Thailand. Yellow Fever is prevalent in South America and sub-Saharan Africa but not in Asia (according to the CDC). Travelers heading to Thailand and coming from countries with a risk of Yellow Fever must be vaccinated.
There Is Little Risk Of Yellow Fever In Thailand
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Yellow Fever occurs in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, there are no Asian countries included in the list of countries with Yellow Fever, including Thailand.
So, though there are many potentially dangerous diseases for tourists in Thailand, Yellow Fever is not the one to be concerned with for tourists.
What Is Yellow Fever?
Like Malaria, Yellow Fever is transmitted by mosquitoes infected with the virus. Generally, people infected with the virus only suffer mild symptoms or do not get sick at all. Nevertheless, the disease remains dangerous for the people who do get sick.
Symptoms of Yellow Fever start three to six days after infection and can include the following common symptoms:
- Muscle pain and spasms
- Loss of appetite
Around a tenth of people who suffer from Yellow Fever symptoms will experience a severe deterioration of their health. They can experience organ (liver and kidney) failure, bleeding, and jaundice, all serious conditions that can be fatal. People who develop these severe symptoms can die within ten days.
Is Yellow Fever In Thailand Dangerous?
Fortunately, there is nearly no risk of catching Yellow Fever in Thailand since the disease is not endemic to the region. It is still technically possible for someone to bring the virus from another country and subsequently indirectly transmit it to someone; however, this scenario is improbable.
Should You Get A Yellow Fever Vaccine For Thailand?
Suppose someone is traveling from a country with no risk of Yellow Fever transmission. In that case, they do not need to vaccinate themselves before traveling to Thailand.
However, suppose they travel from or through a country (spend over twelve hours there) with a risk of Yellow Fever transmission on their way to Thailand. In that case, they are required to get vaccinated.
Lastly, children older than nine months traveling from an at-risk of Yellow Fever transmission country must also be vaccinated.
What Vaccines Do I Need For Thailand?
Though travelers do not need to worry about getting a Yellow Fever vaccine for travel to Thailand (provided you are not coming from sub-Saharan Africa or tropical Central America), there are other vaccines that all travelers to Thailand should consider getting to have a stress-free time.
Two vaccines are recommended for all travelers to Thailand: hepatitis A and tetanus.
Is There Hepatitis A In Thailand?
There is a risk of contracting the Hepatitis A virus in Thailand and other Asian countries, so getting the vaccine before traveling is recommended. Fortunately, the Hepatitis A vaccine works well and prevents numerous infections in travelers.
The Hepatitis A virus infects your liver, causing the following symptoms that can last several weeks:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
It is rare for people to experience liver failure due to contracting the Hepatitis A virus. Most people recover without suffering permanent damage to their liver.
How Do You Get Hepatitis A In Thailand?
Travelers to Thailand risk catching the Hepatitis A virus if they interact with contaminated food, water, or fecal matter.
People run the risk of getting infected with the hepatitis A virus if they do the following:
- Eat contaminated foods or drinks
- Have sexual intercourse with a person infected with Hepatitis A
- Interact with objects with the virus
- Interact with someone infected with Hepatitis A
Is There Tetanus In Thailand?
Alongside Hepatitis A, getting a Tetanus vaccine is recommended when traveling to Thailand, especially for travelers exploring the country and visiting places with limited medical facilities. It is common to get Tetanus vaccines as the bacteria are found worldwide.
The most common way for Tetanus bacteria to get into a traveler’s body are the following:
- Cuts from rusty objects (nails, barbed wire, etc.)
- Piercings and tattoos that used dirty equipment
Tetanus bacteria enter the bloodstream and severely affect the nerves, causing the muscles to tighten and other unpleasant symptoms that appear between four and twenty-one days after infection.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Elevated heart rate
If left untreated, the disease can lead to death.
How Do You Treat Tetanus In Thailand?
It is best for someone to seek medical assistance if they suffer from a cut or burn. The odds of tetanus bacteria making it into your bloodstream are increased if the cut is deep and dirty and you have not been vaccinated for tetanus.
You may be prescribed a tetanus vaccine, antibiotics, or immunoglobulin, depending on your condition. Those who are found to have tetanus are usually admitted to the hospital.
Is There Malaria In Thailand?
Travelers heading for Thailand should be aware that Malaria is a risk, especially on the country’s borders and in forested areas. However, there is little risk of contracting Malaria when you stay in urban areas like Bangkok and Phuket.
There is no vaccination for Malaria, but you can take tablets as a preventive measure. However, many people opt not to take Malaria tablets as they can cause negative side effects. Consult your doctor on your travel plans to see whether medicine to prevent Malaria is necessary.
What Other Diseases Are There In Thailand?
Malaria is not the only dangerous mosquito-borne virus in Thailand. Dengue Fever, the Zika virus, and Japanese encephalitis are also found in the country.
However, unlike Malaria, Dengue Fever and the Zika virus are more common in urban areas. There are also no vaccinations for these two viruses, so adopting the appropriate preventive measures is important.
Rabies is also something to watch out for in Thailand, as rabid dogs are common. Because rabid dogs are so common, the country is generally well-equipped to deal with dog bites and scratches.
Travelers should consider getting a rabies vaccination if they plan on spending time in rural areas, camping, and doing field or veterinary work.
Finally, Cholera is another disease that a traveler should be prepared for, especially if they plan on spending a prolonged amount of time in rural areas.
How To Avoid Diseases In Thailand?
Mosquito-borne viruses like Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Zika are best avoided by avoiding mosquito bites. Hepatitis A and Tetanus have vaccines that do their job very well.
Regarding mosquito-borne viruses, travelers can adopt several strategies to avoid getting bitten.
- Cover their body with long sleeve shirts and trousers. A layer of clothing goes a long way in protecting you against mosquitoes.
- Treat clothing with permethrin. Permethrin is an insecticide that repels (and even kills) mosquitoes.
- Use the appropriate mosquito repellent. Travelers should take the time to find a good mosquito repellent that is not harmful to you or the environment but will take care of those little buzzing devils.
- Keep mosquitoes out of the room. Use air conditioning, fans, and other apparatus to keep mosquitoes out of the sleeping room.
- Sleep under a mosquito net. Travelers should have a mosquito net when sleeping outdoors.
If someone gets bitten by a mosquito, they should do their best not to scratch the bite and apply a cream to reduce the itching.