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Poland Health Care and Vaccinations

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

Health Care

Travel insurance is advised for all visitors. In some medical cases, if you are European, you might be able to receive free treatment if you can show proof of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) obtained in your country of origin.

The overall standards of healthcare in Poland are excellent. Hospitals and surgeries are well equipped and staff are proficient. In pharmacies, over-the-counter advice is given and standard medicines are sold.

Food and Drink

Mains and well water is safe to drink, but don't drink water from rivers or lakes even if it looks pristine - it may contain bacteria or viruses that can bring on diarrhoea and vomiting. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

Two words of caution - a lot of dishes in Polish cuisine are stuffed or wrapped. Avoid them at a cafeteria or buffet if they look like they have outlasted their shelf life. Also, Poles can be big drinkers and vodka is the national drink. You definitely won't be able to keep up with your fellow drinkers for long. Go easy and either miss a few turns or sip your drink in stages. Otherwise count on the mother of all hangovers and an upset stomach the next day.

Other Risks

Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Another one is against tick-borne encephalitis. This is spread by small insects that burrow under the skin and in recent years has become a common problem in parts of central and eastern Europe. Encephalitis is a serious infection of the brain, and vaccination is advised particularly for campers and hikers. Anyone who is considering spending a lot of time outdoors in affected areas should consider getting the jab before they leave home. Two inoculations of the vaccine will protect the recipient for a year while three doses provide protection for up to three years.

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