Bhutan
Travel clinic Bhutan
Travel health and vaccine advice for Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan lies between India and China, at the foot of the majestic Himalayan mountains. Bhutan is a country of unparalleled beauty, with steep mountains hiding deep valleys dug by rivers covering most of the nation. Bhutan has been isolated for a long time, before revealing its untouched architectural and natural treasures in 1974, when the country finally half-opened its doors to the world. Experiencing Bhutan’s intact traditional Buddhist culture and high hospitality is however not affordable to everyone. Backpacking is almost impossible there and visitors usually have to plan their trip through expensive tour-operators. Visiting Bhutan is a privilege, but it is worth the price!

INFORMATIONS ABOUT HEALTH

We make every effort to ensure that the information posted on our website is up to date and accurate according to the latest public health recommendations; however, it is impossible for us to make changes on a daily basis.

For the most current travel health recommendations, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.

BHUTAN – RECOMMENDED VACCINES

The Yellow Fever Vaccine A proof of vaccination against yellow fever may be required upon entry in to this country. Some travellers may not be eligible to receive this vaccine. Please enquire with your health care professional regarding your specific details. It is important to note that the vaccine should be administered at least 10 days prior to your departure. For further information, please consult with the World Health Organization (WHO) website: https://www.who.int/ith/ith-country-list.pdf
Hepatitis A Recommended for all travelers.
Hepatitis B Recommended for all travelers.
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment – Typhoid fever Recommended for all travelers.
Tetanus – Diphteria – Pertussis Vaccine Tetanus: In exceptional circumstances (eg, stay in a region where access to health care is limited), for a person aged 18 years or older, 1 dose of DT may be given if 5 years or more has elapsed since the last dose. Otherwise, one booster dose at the age of 50*. Pertussis (Whooping Cough):  1 dose is recommended for pregnant women, for every pregnancy, regardless of immunization history and the interval since the last dose (betwen week 26 and 32). *Only applicable for Quebec.
Polio One-time booster recommended for any adult traveler who completed the childhood series but never had polio vaccine as an adult (after 18 years old only).
Measles – Rubella – Mumps Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1970, if not previously given.
Information, Advice & Vaccination – Japanese Encephalitis Recommended for travelers who may visit rural regions and farms, especially those traveling for a month or more, recommended for those spending a lot of time outdoors, such as camping, hiking, bicycling or working in the field, especially after dusk. The risk of japanese is particularly elevated during monsoon season. The period of Monsoon season varies based on the areas visited. Important to note, that vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis is administered in 2 doses with a minimum time delay between doses.
Flu – Influenza Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing or by touching infected surfaces. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine yearly. Vaccine is recommended 14 days prior to departure.
Routine vaccines (dCaT, Polio, Meningococcal, Shingles, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, HPV, MMR & Varicella) Recommended for all travelers
Transmission, Symptoms and Prevention – Rabies For travelers at high risk of animal bites or being involved in activities with bats, dogs and other mammals. Clients who plan to visit remote areas may consider receiving this vaccine. Important to note the pre-exposure rabies vaccine is administered in 2 doses with one week interval between doses. Post-exposure vaccination is always recommended, even for those previously vaccinated.
Cholera Vaccine recommended for persons traveling to an area of active transmission. Most people do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission.
Turista – Traveler’s Diarrhea (ETEC) Talk to your health care professional about the risks and precautionary measures to take, as well as the Dukoral® vaccine. Important to note that the Dukoral vaccine is an oral vaccine given in 2 doses, recommended at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
Malaria Malaria is present in this country. The risk may be region specific. Prophylaxis measures to be discussed with the health care professional.
Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and/or Zika There are many illnesses that are transmitted via mosquito bites and unfortunately we do not have vaccines to protect us against most of them. It is important to inquire with your healthcare professional regarding the specific risks and the different illnesses presently in circulation.

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Acetazolamide/Dexaméthasone Recommended to prevent Acute mountain sickness (AMS).
Antibiotics Traveler’s Diarrhea Azithromycin or Suprax

MEDICAL CARES

Bhutan is among the least performing Southeast Asian countries regarding health care quality, despite many governmental efforts to offer access to free satisfying medical care to the local population. Bhutan suffers from a severe lack of qualified medical professionals and the absence of a modern medical infrastructure. In densely populated cities, like Thimphu and Paro, relatively reliable medical centers can be found, like the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital. But their price remains very expensive. In rural areas, access to health care, even basic, is very limited, and sometimes non existent.

In case of emergency, call 110. But ambulance services in Bhutan are slow and inefficient.

Access to quality medicines in Bhutan is poor. It is essential that you bring your own medical supplies.

SECURITY ABROAD

Assaults and rapes are increasing in frequency. Be careful when out at night.

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SAN JOSÉ WEATHER

CANADIAN AMBASSY

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • Police: 113
  • Fire services: 110
  • Traffic police: 111
  • Ambulance: 112