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Travel Vaccinations for Bhutan
The table below provides a general guide as to the Travel Vaccinations that may be advised to you for travel to Bhutan
Recommended Vaccinations for Bhutan at a Glance
All Travellers: MMR, DTaP
Most Travellers: Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Some Travellers: Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies
|Vaccination||Major Risk Factors||Course||Price|
|MMR||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£60|
|Hepatitis A||Person-to-Person||Single Dose||£86|
|Cholera||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£47.50|
|Hepatitis B||Person-to-Person||Course of Three||£66|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£151|
|Rabies||Person-to-Person||Course of Three - intramuscular||£66|
Despite its small size, Bhutan is breathtakingly beautiful and steeped in rich cultural and traditional history. The economy here is largely based on farming and it boasts the title of the world’s last Buddhist Kingdom. With its rolling hills and lush valleys, one can easily see why it’s called the world’s ‘Last Shangri-La’.
The people here are very proud of their pristine country so please be respectful and remember that tobacco is banned here and you will be fined if you are caught smoking in public. Travel at a leisurely pace and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Bhutan is a treat for the eyes.
Advice for Travellers to all Destinations
The Vaccinations and Medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person. Everyone should have a personal risk assessment with a travel health professional to take into account a range of factors such as itinerary, medical condition, occupational and lifestyle risk factors and previous vaccination history.
All Travellers should ensure that they are up-to-date with Routine Vaccinations including Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio and Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
Most travellers will also need to consider a course or booster of Hepatitis A and Typhoid as there is a risk of these diseases across most parts of the world.
Some Travellers may also be advised additional vaccinations such as Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Hepatitis B based on their individual risk assessment.
Risk of Malaria in Bhutan
Malaria is spread by the plasmodium parasite passed to humans from the bite of an anopheles mosquito. Malaria is a serious illness with symptoms include fever, chills, sweats and flu like symptoms. In severe cases, malaria can be fatal. There isn’t currently a vaccine available for our travellers, although there are other ways to protect yourself, see Malaria Information for Travellers.
There is low to no risk of malaria in Bhutan, chemoprophylaxis is not advised.
Travellers to areas where there is a Risk of Malaria should get advice regarding Malaria Medication which can be taken to help stop the illness from developing. The type of medication required depends on your destination, itinerary, length of stay and current medical condition. Further reduce the risk of by practicing mosquito Bite Avoidance by using Insect Repellent such as DEET 50% and covering exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
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Further Travel Health Advice for Bhutan
Dengue fever precautions should be taken for travel to Bhutan. Dengue fever is caused by mosquito bites from a specific mosquito, which seems to be most active during daylight. There is no medical protection against dengue fever. What you can do is try to avoid mosquito bites and use mosquito repellent. Our travel nurse will be able to advise you.
Bhutan is in the Himalayas so some parts of the country are situated higher than 2500m. As such, altitude sickness may present a problem. You can obtain altitude sickness medication and practice appropriate acclimatisation and gradual ascents to counter altitude sickness. Don’t forget, it’s not just your climbing altitude but your sleeping altitude as well that must be considered. Our travel nurse will be able to discuss these with you.
There are four distinct seasons in Bhutan but it is also fair to say that due to the ups and downs in elevation, weather is variable from even one small area to the next. Check the weather for the period you are travelling, as you will need to pack adequately and take reasonable precautions for the climate here.
Tap water in Bhutan is not considered safe for foreigners to drink so drink bottled water or boiled water and always check the water that food has been washed in. As an extra precaution, take some water purifying tablets with you or some kind of water purification system.
Bhutan is not the worlds most exciting place for food. Choices are quite limited and you’ll be hard pressed to find fine dining establishments. Rice is common and served regularly. You will find a decent cup of tea here though bit don’t hold out for a soy latte or even a cappuccino. It’s not likely.
Lots of different infections can be spread through insect bites, including Malaria and Dengue Fever, which is spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms can include fever, headache and severe joint, bone and muscular pain. Advice for these infections listed above. Bhutan also has a lot of dogs in the streets, so be aware.
Make sure you have health insurance in place that will cover the full range of activities you plan to undertake while in Bhutan.
Bhutan is relatively safe for travellers, but that said, please take sensible precautions. If you’re in the mountains, watch out for bears and make sure you pack a first aid kit. Be respectful of statues, stupas, mani stones and the monarchy in Bhutan. Remember don’t sit on mani stones, statues or stupas, keep them on your right when passing and turn always prayer wheels clockwise.