Cambodia Vaccinations and Travel Advice
Deeply marred by several wars, the terrible Khmer Rouge regime and a horrible genocide, Cambodia has now risen from its ashes. This captivating Southeast Asian country is home to Angkor Wat, one of the most magical and spectacular archaeological sites in the world. And Cambodia has so much more to offer to travelers: beautiful temples hidden in the middle of the jungle, stunning paradise islands, charming typical villages lost in green rice-fields landscapes, wild mountains and a fascinating capital city. But Cambodia’s greatest jewel is certainly its ever-smiling population, probably some of the warmest people in the world.
HEALTH ADVICE FOR TRAVEL TO CAMBODIA
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, travel health and safety risks in Cambodia can change daily.
For the most current travel health recommendations for Cambodia, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.
RECOMMENDED VACCINES – FOR CAMBODIA
A proof of vaccination against yellow fever may be required upon entry in to Cambodia.
Some travellers may not be eligible to receive this vaccine. Please enquire with your health care professional regarding your specific details.
For further information, please consult with the World Health Organization (WHO) website:
|Hepatitis A||Recommended for all travelers.|
|Hepatitis B||Recommended for all travelers.|
|Typhoid fever||Recommended for all travelers.|
|Tetanus – Diphtheria – 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.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough): 1 dose is recommended for pregnant women, for every pregnancy, regardless of immunization history and the interval since the last dose (between week 26 and 32).
*Only applicable for Quebec.
|Measles – Rubella – Mumps||Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1970, if not previously given.|
|Cholera||For humanitarian workers and health care providers.|
|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|
|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.|
|Schistosomiasis||Avoid swimming in fresh water.|
|Travellers’ diarrhea||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 Cambodia. 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 FOR TRAVEL TO CAMBODIA
|Antibiotics for Traveler’s Diarrhea||Azithromycin or Suprax|
FOOD AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES IN CAMBODIA
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers’ diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Cambodia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southeast Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers’ diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers’ diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
INSECTS AND ILLNESS IN CAMBODIA
In some areas of Southeastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in Cambodia. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In Cambodia, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus is a risk in Cambodia.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to Cambodia. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to Cambodia.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to Cambodia for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to Cambodia or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to Cambodia or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
MALARIA IN CAMBODIA
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in Cambodia.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
ANIMALS AND ILLNESS IN CAMBODIA
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There have been human cases of avian influenza in Cambodia.
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.
- avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
- avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
- avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
- avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
- ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked
PERSON-TO-PERSON INFECTIONS IN CAMBODIA
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that mainly affects infants and children. Travellers are at increased risk if visiting or living in overcrowded conditions. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against this disease.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
MEDICAL SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN CAMBODIA
The health care system in Cambodia is in very poor shape. Hospitals are overcrowded, trained medical professionals are lacking, and equipment is rudimentary. Only a few dozens of doctors can be found in the whole country. In case of sickness or injury, it is strongly advised to travelers to go to the Tropical and Travelers Medical Clinic located in Phnom Penh. This establishment is managed by a specialist trained in the United Kingdom. The Calmette Hospital, also in Phnom Penh, provides quality medical care, but the prices are very expensive. Outside of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, access to health care, even basic, is very limited. Doctors and hospitals may demand cash payment or written guarantees from insurance providers in advance for health services.
In case of emergency, you can call a public ambulance at 119 and a private one at 855 11 811 175. Be aware that the waiting time can be extremely long.
Medical evacuation to Thailand or Singapore is often required in order to obtain adequate treatment. Seek immediate assistance in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap and consider leaving the country if you experience medical problems. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Some medicines are extremely hard to find in local pharmacies. It is strongly advised that you bring you own medical supplies in sufficient quantities when traveling to Cambodia.
KEEP IN MIND…
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Security in Cambodia
Emergency services in Cambodia
In case of emergency, dial:
- Police: 117
- Medical assistance: 119
- Firefighters: 118