Vaccination

Recommended Vaccinations
before Travelling to Laos

Before leaving for your trip to Laos, it is recommended to have some vaccination. In general, with the low population density, Laos is not really a dangerous place teeming with bacteria, viruses and rabid wildlife.

Within the scope of this article you will find which vaccinations you really need, and which you don’t.

The following are the recommended vaccinations for a visit to Laos:


Editor note: You may want to know about Lao weather and best time to visitTop 10 places to visit in Laos, or Top 10 festivals in laos


 

All Travelers

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination, including Laos.

Some vaccines may also be required for travel. Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip.

These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Measles–mumps–rubella

Measles causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Complications can include ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, brain damage, and death.

Mumps causes fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen salivary glands. Complications can include swelling of the testicles or ovaries, deafness, inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis) and, rarely, death.

Rubella, causes fever, sore throat, rash, headache, and red, itchy eyes. If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.

You can protect against these diseases with safe, effective vaccination.

Check more information HERE

Vaccination before travelling to Laos

DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) VIS

DTaP vaccine can help protect your child from diphtheriatetanus, and pertussis.

  • DIPHTHERIA (D) can cause breathing problems, paralysis, and heart failure. Before vaccines, diphtheria killed tens of thousands of children every year in the United States.
  • TETANUS (T) causes painful tightening of the muscles. It can cause “locking” of the jaw so you cannot open your mouth or swallow. About 1 person out of 5 who get tetanus dies.
  • PERTUSSIS (aP), also known as Whooping Cough, causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants and children to eat, drink, or breathe. It can cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, or death.

Most children who are vaccinated with DTaP will be protected throughout childhood. Many more children would get these diseases if we stopped vaccinating.

Check HERE for more information

Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine

Varicella (also called chickenpox) is a very contagious viral disease. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Chickenpox is usually mild, but it can be serious in infants under 12 months of age, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.

Chickenpox causes an itchy rash that usually lasts about a week.  It can also cause:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • headache

More serious complications can include:

  • skin infections
  • infection of the lungs (pneumonia)
  • inflammation of blood vessels
  • swelling of the brain and/or spinal cord coverings (encephalitis or meningitis)
  • blood stream, bone, or joint infections

Some people get so sick that they need to be hospitalized. It doesn’t happen often, but people can die from chickenpox. Before varicella vaccine, almost everyone in the United States got chickenpox, an average of 4 million people each year.

Children who get chickenpox usually miss at least 5 or 6 days of school or childcare.

Some people who get chickenpox get a painful rash called shingles (also known as herpes zoster) years later.

Chickenpox can spread easily from an infected person to anyone who has not had chickenpox and has not gotten chickenpox vaccine.

Check more information HERE

Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Polio Vaccination

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly disease. It is caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis (can’t move parts of the body).

Polio can be prevented with vaccine. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine that has been given in the United States since 2000. It is given by shot in the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age. Oral polio vaccine (OPV) is used in other countries.

CDC recommends that children get four doses of polio vaccine. They should get one dose at each of the following ages:

  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 through 18 months old
  • 4 through 6 years old

Almost all children (99 out of 100) who get all the recommended doses of polio vaccine will be protected from polio.

The first polio vaccine was available in the United States in 1955. Thanks to widespread use of polio vaccine, the United States has been polio-free since 1979. But poliovirus is still a threat in some countries. It takes only one traveler with polio to bring the disease into the United States. The best way to keep the United States polio-free is to maintain high immunity (protection) in the U.S. population against polio through vaccination.

Check more information HERE

Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Yearly flu shot

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu.

Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children.

Vaccination before travelling to Laos (5)

Most Travelers

Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver disease spread by contaminated food and water.  It can also be spread from the hands of a person with hepatitis A. It is rarely spread through sexual contact.

Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).

Some people have no symptoms, while others have symptoms that last 1-6 months. Most people recover with no lasting liver damage.

Check more information HERE

Vaccination before travelling to Laos-1

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is a serious disease spread by contaminated food and water.

Symptoms of typhoid include lasting high fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headache, and loss of appetite.

Some patients have constipation, and some have a rash. Internal bleeding and death can occur but are rare.

Check more information HERE

Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Some Travelers

Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a contagious virus that is transmitted through blood, blood products, and other body fluids (such as semen).

Travelers can become infected through unprotected sex with an infected person, injection drug use, and transfusions with unscreened blood.

Symptoms include a sudden fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dark urine, joint pain, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Symptoms may last from several weeks to several months.

Some people who get hepatitis B develop lifelong (chronic) hepatitis B. This can cause people to die early from liver disease and liver cancer.

Check more information HERE

Vaccination before travelling to Laos (3)

Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a disease spread through mosquito bites.

Symptoms usually take 5-15 days to develop and include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty moving. Symptoms that develop later include swelling around the brain and coma.

JE is a serious disease that may cause death.

Check more information HERE

Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Malaria

Malaria is a disease spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms usually appear within in 7-30 days but can take up to one year to develop.

Symptoms include high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness.

Without treatment, malaria can cause severe illness and even death.

Check more information HERE

Stop Malaria - Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that is spread in the saliva of infected animals. All mammals can get rabies.

People usually get rabies from licks, bites, or scratches from infected dogs and other animals such as bats, foxes, raccoons, and mongooses.

Rabies affects the central nervous system, ultimately causing brain disease and death.

Once symptoms of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, so prevention is especially important.

Check more information HERE

Rabies - Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites.

Symptoms take 3–6 days to develop and include fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle aches.

About 15% of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can lead to bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death.

Check more information HERE

Extra: Stay healthy and safe in Laos

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Laos, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Unclean food and water can cause travelers’ diarrhea and other diseases. Reduce your risk by sticking to safe food and water habits.

You may be interested in
Lao cuisine
Top 10 Lao dishes you must try
or Top 10 Cooking Classes in Laos

Eat
  • Food that is cooked and served hot
  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
  • Pasteurized dairy products
Don’t Eat
  • Food served at room temperature
  • Food from street vendors
  • Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
  • Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish
  • Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • ”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)
Lao food - Vaccination before travelling to Laos
Laab Pet – Duck meat salad

 

Drink
  • Bottled water that is sealed
  • Water that has been disinfected
  • Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Hot coffee or tea
  • Pasteurized milk
Don’t Drink
  • Tap or well water
  • Ice made with tap or well water
  • Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
  • Unpasteurized milk
Take Medicine

Talk with your doctor about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs with you on your trip in case you get sick.

Beer Laos - Vaccination before travelling to Laos
BeerLao – The best beer in Laos

 

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

No animal - Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Soap4Life - Vaccination before travelling to Laos

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Unsafe Sex - Vaccination before travelling to Laos

 

These are the most important notices to stay healthy and safe in Laos. There are some further notices such as Preventing bug bitesStay safe outdoorsKnow how to get medical care while travelingSelect safe transportation, and Maintain personal security. Check more detail HERE

Some final words

Before the trip, get consulted from your doctor and get the latest update with the local travel agency. The expert on the field will give you the best advice of what to do. To better prepare, you can also check Healthy Travel Packing List

During the trip, keep discussing with the local guide and the local travel agency that you book the tour with to stay healthily and safe in the region that you travel.

After the trip, if you feel something strange, do not hesitate to contact with your doctor or the nearest clinic. Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel.


With reference from the website of CDC

 

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