There are many reasons you should visit Thailand – Thai food is delicious and the Thai people are traditionally friendly. Travel to Thailand is cheap – and the three major seasons provide a plethora of sunshine and monsoons. The 1,500 miles of coastline offer some of the best dive sites in the world – and there are over 40,000 Buddhist temples to explore.
Bangkok is renowned for its nightlife and with trails to be trekked, waves to be surfed, and markets and festivals to take part in what more could you want? You need to take a few sensible precautions to make sure your trip is free of unpleasant diseases – so take a look at travel vaccines and advice for Thailand from the travel health service here
Update Your Routine Vaccinations
All usual vaccinations need to be up to date including:
- Tetanus/Diphtheria/Whooping Cough
- Measles/Mumps/Rubella/ Chickenpox
- Shingles and Pneumonia for travellers over 65 years old
Recommended Vaccines for Thailand
Typhoid is caused by bacteria that grow in the intestines and the blood. It’s spread by eating or drinking water that’s contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. Symptoms vary from abdominal pain, fever, and constipation to organ failure if it spreads throughout the body – which can be fatal. Good personal hygiene is very important, with constant handwashing routines – particularly if you eat from market streets or stalls where sanitation is poor.
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus spread by the faeces of an infected person – and can be transmitted where levels of sanitation are poor. You can also get the infection from drinking contaminated water, eating raw shellfish from contaminated water, and close contact with someone who has the disease. Symptoms can include feeling tired and generally unwell with joint and muscle pain – a high temperature with loss of appetite, and itchy skin.
The following vaccinations would be advised for some travellers in certain risk groups:
Hepatitis B is also a liver infection caused by a virus that’s spread through blood and body fluids – flu-like symptoms and feeling sick are two of the signs, as are tiredness, fever, and general aches and pains. Abdominal pain and jaundice may follow. The disease can be transmitted via shared needles and drug equipment, by having sex with an infected person, and within families in countries where infection is common. You should have this vaccination if you are a healthcare/charity worker coming into contact with many people and potentially their body fluids. It is also advised to have this vaccination if you deem yourself to be at risk of sharing needles or having unprotected sex with potentially infected people.
Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death. It’s caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with bacteria – most common in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war, and famine. Due to the higher rates of transmission in some areas of Thailand, vaccination is key to protection against the disease spreading. Travellers may consider cholera vaccination if they are living and working in an area which has poor sanitation for example healthcare and charity workers.
Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is recommended – studies have shown that 1% of travellers to Thailand had a potential rabies exposure to infected animals. This deadly virus is spread by contact with animals infected – and is usually transmitted through a bite from a small mammal. Symptoms of rabies can include fever, headaches, bite site discomfort, confusion, hallucinations, difficulty swallowing, paralysis, and frothing at the mouth. You should consider Rabies vaccination particularly if you are travelling to remote areas where there may be shortages of post-exposure vaccine.
Japanese encephalitis is a disease spread through mosquito bites – symptoms usually take five to 15 days to develop and include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty breathing. Developing symptoms can cause swelling around the brain and coma, and is a serious disease that can cause death. This viral disease is particularly common in breeding sites around rice paddies – the mosquitoes are especially prevalent around dusk.
Influenza is an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus affecting the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Symptoms can be mild to severe – from coughs and fevers to muscles, body aches, and fatigue. The virus is spread by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk – these droplets land in the mouths or noses of others nearby – and it can also be transferred from infected objects or surfaces.
Various mosquito-borne diseases are present in Thailand – you need to ensure you’re protected from malaria with antimalarial tablets. Make sure you use insect repellent, netting, and wear appropriate clothing – this’ll also help prevent Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya – all present in Thailand.
Left untreated malaria can lead to death – and is one of the most deadly infections in the history of the world. Antimalarials taken on a regular basis will prevent the malaria parasite from taking root in the body. A wide variety of medications are available and you’ll need a travel health specialist to advise you on the identification of the best ones for you to take for your trip.
Book an Appointment
Doorstep Pharmacy offers a comprehensive travel vaccination clinic – and is an approved yellow fever centre with yellow fever vaccines in stock at competitive prices. You’ll be able to get all the vaccination types you need with the recommended number of doses from trained pharmacists. You can book online or contact the pharmacy by telephone.