World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > South Korea

South Korea Health Care and Vaccinations

Title Special precautions
Yellow Fever No
Typhoid Yes
Tetanus Yes
Rabies No
Malaria Sometimes
Hepatitis A Sometimes
Diphtheria Yes

Health Care

High quality medical care is available in Seoul, Pusan and Daegu, but may be difficult to locate in rural areas. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended, as are the international clinics at hospitals like Seoul's Severance Hospital, Asan Medical Centre or Samsung Medical Centre. Almost all hospitals require payment and registration prior to treatment. Most nurses and receptionists do not speak English.

Food and Drink

Though tap water is potable and thus safe to drink, tourists often avoid it due to taste. Bottled water is available, as is powdered or tinned milk. Korean cuisine is rich and varied and as such, includes all sorts of raw, uncooked, or undercooked meats, seafoods, and delicacies. Use common sense when ordering. Those with health concerns may want to exercise caution and avoid unpasteurised milk and products made from it, such as ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked, fruit peeled. Food from street vendors is usually safe but should be eaten at your own risk.

Other Risks

Japanese encephalitis may be transmitted by mosquitoes between June and October in rural areas. A vaccine is available, and travellers are advised to consult their doctor prior to departure. Hepatitis B is highly endemic. Tuberculosis occurs. Rabies is extremely rare. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

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