Thailand Health Care and Vaccinations
Health insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good in main centres. All major hotels have doctors on call.
Food and Drink
Use only bottled or boiled water for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice. Unpasteurised milk should also be boiled, although pasteurised or homogenised milk is available. Tinned or powdered milk is safe as long as it is reconstituted with sterile water. Beware of dairy products that may have been made with unboiled milk. Stick to meat and fish that have been well cooked, preferably served hot, but not reheated. Avoid raw vegetables and unpeeled fruit.
HIV is rife in Thailand, especially among prostitutes in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Amoebic and bacillary dysentery and hepatitis E may occur. Hepatitis B is highly endemic. Japanese encephalitis may occur, particularly in rural areas, and precautions should be taken to guard against mosquito bites. Dengue fever is also becoming increasingly widespread, particularly in central Thailand, and is also transmitted by mosquitoes. Travellers to Thailand are unlikely to be affected by avian influenza, but should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where they may come into close contact with wild or caged birds; also ensure poultry dishes are thoroughly cooked.
The Zika virus is present in Thailand. The mosquito-borne illness can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The World Health Organisation recommends travellers protect themselves from mosquito bites and wear clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible, sleeping under mosquito nets and using repellents that contain DEET (diethyltoluamide), IR 3535 ((3- [N-butyl-N-acetyl], aminopropionic acid ethyl-ester) or KBR3023 (also called Icaridin or Picaridin). Pregnant women are advised to postpone non-essential travel until after pregnancy and pregnant women whose sexual partners live in or travel to areas with Zika virus transmission should follow safe sexual practices or abstain from sex for the duration of their pregnancy. Women who are pregnant, at risk of getting pregnant, or planning pregnancy should seek further advice from their doctor before travelling to Thailand.