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Travel vaccinations for Malaysia
Be sure to think about the kind of trip you have planned before you see a travel health specialist. This will affect what jabs for Malaysia you need.
The kind of factors a specialist will be considering are length of stay, current health condition and history of disease. They will also consider the type of travel planned (the kinds of places you plan on eating, activities) and where you’re planning on going and staying. Protecting yourself means the peace of mind to completely enjoy your holiday.
What vaccinations do I need for Malaysia?
MMR (Measles, mumps & rubella) & DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus & polio)
MMR and DTaP are an essential part of your Malaysia vaccinations toolkit. There has been a worldwide outbreak of measles so it is crucial that you see a travel health specialist to ensure that your jabs are up to date, even if you believe these were covered off as a child.
Typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera
Malaysia has some of the most flavourful food in the world. It’s worth the trip just to experience authentically made nasi lemak with its delicious flavour combination of fried anchovies, peanuts, cucumber and sambal.
When you are in Malaysia, there are, unfortunately, a number of infectious diseases that can be carried through contaminated food and water. It is essential that you only drink bottled water in Malaysia however you will still need injections for Malaysia that protect you against the most harmful of these diseases – typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera.
It’s advisable for your Malaysia vaccinations to include a hepatitis B jab. Hepatitis B is transferred through bodily fluids and needles. If you think you may be tempted to get a tattoo while you are in Malaysia, it is absolutely essential that you are administered with a hepatitis B immunisation.
Who doesn’t want to go to Malaysia to see the adorable monkeys? Experiencing Malaysia means encountering the animals who are very prevalent around all of the islands. We highly recommend you include rabies as one of your travel vaccinations for Malaysia.
Rabies is an incurable disease and it’s not always possible to know which animals have it and which do not. If you are travelling to the island of Borneo, it is absolutely essential that you have a rabies vaccination as a human death from rabies was most recently reported there in June, 2019.
This disease is transferred to humans via a mosquito bite. The humid conditions in Malaysia make a breeding ground for mosquitoes and many potentially fatal diseases can be transferred by them, including Japanese Encephalitis. See a travel health professional to assess whether you need this as one of your vaccines for Malaysia.
One of the questions we often get asked is: “Is there Zika virus in Malaysia?” Unfortunately, there is still a risk of Zika virus in Malaysia. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, it’s advisable to speak to a travel health specialist who can let you know the most up to date information as there is no vaccination available for this.
The table below provides a general guide as to the Travel Vaccinations that may be advised to you for travel to Malaysia.
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.
|Vaccination||All Travellers||Most Travellers||Some Travellers||Major Risk|
|MMR||Yes||Person-to-Person||Measles, mumps, rubella, Course of Two||£60|
|DTaP||Yes||Person-to-Person||Tetanus, Diptheria, polio, Single Dose||£50|
|Typhoid||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Typhoid, single dose||£50|
|Hepatitis A||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Hepatitis A, Single Dose||£85|
|Cholera||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Cholera, for course of 2||£42|
|Hepatitis B||Yes||Body Fluids, Medical Intervention||Hepatitis B, Course of Three||£65|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Yes||Mosquitoes||Japanese encephalitis, Course of Two||£105|
|Rabies||Yes||Infected Animals||Rabies, Course of Three||£66|
Advice for travellers to all destinations
Risk of malaria in Malaysia
Malaria is a viral illness spread by Mosquitoes that bite from dusk to dawn throughout the tropical world. It causes high fever and severe joint and muscle pains. In serious cases, malaria can be fatal.
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 Repellant such as DEET 50% and covering exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
Risk of yellow fever in Malaysia
Yellow Fever is a serious viral illness spread by mosquitoes in the tropical regions of Africa and South America. For further information, please see Yellow Fever Vaccination.
Under International Health Regulations (2005), travellers who have been to an Area affected by Yellow Fever, or who have travelled via an airport of a country affected, are required to present an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICVP) before they are allowed to enter Malaysia.
Further travel health advice for Malaysia
Malaysia, in South East Asia is a mix of the old and the new. It is where ancient tradition meets modern developing world. It’s a multi-cultural, economically growing nation with lots of high tech to make your stay very comfortable.
Being so multi-cultural means that there are lots of festivals and holidays in Malaysia that you will need to be aware of. One of the larger ones to be aware of when travelling through/ to Malaysia is the month of Ramadan, a time of fasting for Muslims, which non-Muslims, including tourists are expected to be mindful of by not eating and drinking in public places. The other is Chinese New Year – a real celebration for the senses.
Dengue Fever precautions should be taken for travel to and within Malaysia. 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 and a mosquito net. Our travel nurse will be best able to advise you.
Schistosomiasis infection can happen in Malaysia. It is caused by a flatworm infection that is acquired through contact with affected fresh water streams, rivers or lakes. If you think you may have been exposed to or have contacted Schistosomiasis, seek professional medical help.
Due to the fact that some places in Malaysia is situated higher than 2500m, 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, its 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 and offer you the relevant advice.
Heat and humidity
Malaysia is a tropical country and due to is geographical location is generally warm. There are some parts though, most notably the highlands that can be cooler. Check the weather for the period you are travelling, as you will need to pack adequately and take reasonable precautions.
Tap water in Malaysia is generally considered safe but if you have a delicate tummy or are in any doubt of the water supply, use bottled water, which is widely available.
Food and drink
Malaysian food is diverse since the many different ethnic groups that call Malaysia home influence it. Like most South East Asian cuisine, spices are in plentiful supply. Be aware that this is a largely Muslim country so most food is halal and is labelled as such. Halal establishments do not serve alcohol.
Animals and insects
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 is listed above.
Make sure you have health insurance in place that will cover the full range of activities you plan to undertake while in Malaysia.
Petty crime against tourists is not uncommon so take reasonable precautions and don’t walk alone at night, travel in groups and keep your valuables out of sight.
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