The preventive measures
you need to take while traveling in East Asia depend
on the areas you visit and the length of time you
stay. You should observe the precautions listed in
this document in most areas of this region. However,
in highly developed areas of Japan, Hong Kong,
South Korea, and Taiwan, you should observe
health precautions similar to those that would apply
while traveling in the United States.
diarrhea, the number one illness in
travelers, can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or
parasites, which can contaminate food or water.
Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli,
and parasites), fever (typhoid
fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage
(hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water
are safe. (See
is a preventable infection that can be fatal if left
untreated. Prevent infection by taking prescription
antimalarial drugs, if recommended, and protecting
yourself against mosquito bites (see below). Travelers
to some areas in China, Hong Kong S.A.R. (China),
North Korea, and South Korea may be at risk for
malaria. Travelers to malaria-risk areas in China,
North Korea, and South Korea should take an
antimalarial drug. The risk of malaria in Hong Kong
S.A.R. is so limited that taking an antimalarial drug
is not recommended. For additional information on
malaria in East Asia, malaria-risk area and
antimalarial drugs, see Malaria
Information for Travelers to East Asia.
are diseases carried by insects that also occur in
this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites
below) will help to prevent these diseases.
If you visit the
Himalayan Mountains, ascend gradually to allow time
for your body to adjust to the high altitude, which
can cause insomnia, headaches, nausea, and altitude
sickness. In addition, use sunblock rated at least SPF
15, because the risk of sunburn is greater at high
There is no risk
for yellow fever in East Asia. A certificate of yellow
fever vaccination may be required for entry into
certain of these countries if you are coming from
countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For
detailed information, see Comprehensive
Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements.
CDC recommends the
following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at
least 4�6 weeks before your trip to allow time for
shots to take effect.
A or immune globulin (IG), except travelers to
B, if you might be exposed to blood (for
example, health-care workers), have sexual contact
with the local population, stay longer than 6
months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
encephalitis, only if you plan to visit rural
areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special
circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese
if you might be exposed to wild or domestic
animals through your work or recreation.
particularly if you are visiting developing
countries in this region.
- As needed, booster
doses for tetanus-diphtheria
B vaccine is now recommended for all infants
and for children ages 11�12 years who did not
receive the series as infants.
should take the following precautions, no matter the
- Wash hands often
with soap and water.
- Because motor
vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury
among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid
travel at night if possible and always use seat
- Always use latex
condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other
sexually transmitted diseases.
- Don�t eat or
drink dairy products unless you know they have
- Don�t share
needles with anyone.
- Eat only
thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables
you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it,
cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- Never eat
undercooked ground beef and poultry, raw eggs, and
unpasteurized dairy products. Raw shellfish is
particularly dangerous to persons who have liver
disease or compromised immune systems.
undeveloped areas should take the following
To stay healthy,
- Drink only bottled
or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in
cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks,
and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water
safer by BOTH filtering through an �absolute
1-micron or less� filter AND adding iodine
tablets to the filtered water. �Absolute
1-micron filters� are found in camping/outdoor
- If you visit an
area where there is risk for malaria,
take your malaria
prevention medication before, during, and
after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a
yourself from mosquito bites:
mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts
and long pants.
- Use insect
repellents that contain DEET
- Apply insect
repellent to exposed skin. Mosquitoes that
transmit malaria bite between dusk and dawn.
- Unless you are
staying in air-conditioned or well-screened
housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with
the insecticide permethrin.
- For more
information on protecting yourself from insect
bites and DEET see Protection
against Mosquitoes and Other Arthropods.
- To prevent fungal
and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry,
and do not go barefoot.
To avoid getting
- Don�t eat food
purchased from street vendors.
- Don�t drink
beverages with ice.
- Don�t handle
animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to
avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies
(For more information, please see the Animal-Associated
Hazards on the Making
Travel Safe page.)
- Don�t swim in
fresh water (except for well-chlorinated swimming
pools) in certain areas of China (southeast, east,
and Yangtze River valley) to avoid infection with schistosomiasis.
Salt water is usually safer. (For more
information, please see the Swimming
Precautions on the Making
Travel Safe page.)
What you need to bring
- Long-sleeved shirt
and long pants to wear while outside whenever
possible, to prevent illnesses carried by insects.
- Insect repellent
- Bed nets
impregnated with permethrin (can be purchased in
camping or military supply stores).
antidiarrheal medicine to take if you have
- Iodine tablets and
water filters to purify water if bottled water is
not available. See Do�s
above for more detailed information about water
medications: make sure you have enough to last
during your trip, as well as a copy of the
After you return
If an antimalarial
drug was prescribed, continue taking your antimalarial
drug for 4 weeks (chloroquine, mefloquine, doxycycline)
or 7 days (Malarone�) after leaving the risk area.
Travelers to East Asia who become ill with a fever or
flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk
area and up to 1 year after returning home should seek
prompt medical attention and should tell the physician
their travel history.
Ask your doctor or
check the CDC web sites for more information about how
to protect yourself against diseases that occur in
East Asia, including the following:
For more information
about these and other diseases, please check the Diseases