The preventive measures
you need to take while traveling in the Middle East
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 Israel, 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, Salmonella,
and parasites), fever (typhoid
fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage
(hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are
is a preventable infection that can be fatal if left
untreated. Prevent infection by taking prescription
antimalarial drugs and protecting yourself against
mosquito bites (see
below). Travelers to some areas of Iran, Iraq, Oman,
Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, the
United Arab Emirates, and Yemen may be at risk for
malaria. There is no risk of malaria in Bahrain, Cyprus,
Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Qatar. For
additional information on malaria risk and prevention,
Information for Travelers to the Middle East.
are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this
region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see
below) will help to prevent these diseases.
There is no risk
for yellow fever in the Middle East. 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.
or immune globulin
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.
vaccine is required for pilgrims to Mecca for the
However, CDC currently recommends the vaccine for all
travelers to Mecca, including those traveling for
the Umra. (For more information, please see Meningococcal
Disease Among Travelers to Saudi Arabia.)
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
and a one-time dose of polio for adults. Hepatitis
B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and
for children ages 11�12 years who have not
completed the series.
All travelers 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 belts.
- Always use latex
condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually
- Don�t eat or drink
dairy products unless you know they have been
- 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
- 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 precautions:
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 supply
- 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:
- Prevent mosquito
bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long
- 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
- 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
What you need
to bring with you:
- 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 diarrhea.
- Iodine tablets and
water filters to purify water if bottled water is
not available. See Do�s
above for more details about water filters.
medications: make sure you have enough to last
during your trip, as well as a copy of the
After you return
If you have visited a
malaria-risk area, continue taking your antimalarial
drug for 4 weeks (chloroquine, mefloquine, or
doxycycline) or seven days (Malarone�) after leaving
the risk area. Travelers who become ill with a fever or
flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area
and up to one 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
protecting yourself against diseases that occur in the
Middle East, including the following:
For more information
about these and other diseases, please check the Diseases