Recommended Vaccination for your trip to Bali

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This island is much more developed than most regions in Indonesia, and the main tourism areas match international standards when it comes to hygiene. Suppose you plan to travel to other locations in Indonesia or venture out for a longer period into the more remote areas of Bali. In that case, a more careful approach is recommended. Because vaccines need to be taken before arriving at your holiday destination, you need to plan your vaccine strategy 4-8 weeks before scheduled departure.

Typhoid

Typhoid fever is linked to the salmonella species known as Salmonella typhi. Common symptoms are fever muscle aches, nausea, abdominal pain and problems with the stool (diarrhea or constipation). The salmonella is transmitted by contaminated food or water. People can transmit the disease without knowing that they have it.

Vaccination is recommended and strongly recommended if you stay longer and wish to eat street food and travel to more remote areas.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A vaccine is highly recommended for travellers to developing countries which includes, of course, Indonesia and Bali. Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. Like typhoid-fever, it is also transmitted by contaminated water and food. It might also be acquired by direct contact with infected people. Symptoms are usually fever, nausea, vomiting and pain in your abdomen, and could even lead to severe cases.

Vaccination is strongly recommended

Tetanus Diphteria

Basic Standard everybody should have anyway. Last immunization should not be older than ten years.

Vaccination is strongly recommended

Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)

Basic Standard also in “first world countries.”

Vaccination is recommended

Other medical conditions and diseases

Rabies

Recent outbreaks of rabies in 2008 and 2010 raised concerns among travellers to Bali. A rabies vaccination is not all that necessary if you come to Bali. Still, because dogs (and monkeys) who would often interact with tourists can carry rabies, and Bali’s dog population being estimated at 500.000, getting the vaccine may not a bad thing before coming here. Avoid the street dogs, don’t get too near to them. When you raise your hand as if you would throw a stone, they would usually run away. Watch your children as to not to get too close to them.

Vaccination slightly recommended

Malaria

The general risk to catch malaria in Bali is very small in main tourist locations such as resort areas. However, if you plan to visit rural areas for a longer period or do a lot of mountain trekking, etc., then you could potentially be at risk to contract malaria prophylaxis. There is only one type of vaccine best for Malaria, but the best protection is still not to get bitten by mosquitoes. Make use of mosquito nets, wear long sleeves, and long trousers when you take a jungle hike for example.

Low risk, vaccine not available, prophylaxis not necessary

Dengue Fever

The most imminent health hazard to Balinese and visitors after traffic accidents is most likely Dengue fever. There is currently no vaccine against it, Dengue fever is a flu-like illness and not uncommon in Bali. Like Malaria, Dengue is transmitted by a certain type of mosquito — the Aedes Mosquito is responsible for Dengue bites, primarily in daytime but also during nighttime. They are found mainly in densely populated areas, like the capital Denpasar. The disease is observed all year-round; it can be very painful, and can, in some cases, be fatal. Therefore the best way to prevent Dengue is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Main symptoms, besides a fever, include aching joints and muscles, vomiting, severe headaches, nausea. Usually, it takes a few days for the symptoms to subside, barring any complications. If one gets their first Dengue infection as an adult, most likely, one will not experience great difficulties. For patients who are diagnosed with a Dengue infection a second time as adults risk higher complications.

High risk, no vaccine available, general mosquito bite precautions.

Diarrhea (Bali Belly)

In Bali, Montezuma’s revenge is most commonly known as a phenomenon called Bali Belly. Globally, the number one travel-related disease is mainly due to hygiene reasons in contaminated water and food. It’s a good thing to bring some of the available anti-diarrheal drugs along when traveling – just in case. Although diarrhea is, in most cases, not dangerous but if symptoms persist for more than three days (72h), then go to a doctor. Also, if you experience within 8 hours three more loose stools, vomiting, strong cramps, blood in the stool and fever, then you might need antibiotics.

Medium risk, don’t drink tap water, be careful with street food

HIV

Bali has a lot of prostitution. Some studies suggest that HIV is widespread among the prostitutes (up to 30%!). There are several other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) that are not uncommon among working girls (and boys) which will be difficult to explain back home.

Be cautious and conscious.

Yellow Fever

Vaccination not required generally for Bali

Only required for travelers arriving from yellow-fever infected countries (Africa, Americas)