Thailand Medical Travel Information

Medical Facilities and Health Information Medical treatment is generally adequate in Thailand’s urban areas. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya good facilities exist for routine, long-term, and emergency health care. Basic medical care is available in rural areas, but English-speaking providers are rare.

Alcoholic beverages, medications, and drugs you purchase in Thailand may be more potent or of a different composition than similar ones in the United States. Several U.S. citizen tourists die in Thailand each year of apparent premature heart attacks after having consumed alcohol or drugs. Many pharmacies in Thailand do not require a prescription. Counterfeit medications have entered the wholesale distribution network in South East Asia. If you must buy medication locally, we recommend that you purchase it from an international chain pharmacy. If you have a chronic medical problem, you should bring enough of your maintenance medicine (up to a 30-day supply) and not rely on purchasing your medication from the local economy. Please see Special Circumstances, above for restrictions on importing medication for personal use.

For tourists, the most common serious medical complications result from motor vehicle accidents. If you ride a motor cycle or scooter including motor cycle taxis, you could prevent a serious and disabling head injury by using a helmet.

Dengue and Chikungunya: are viral infections transmitted via mosquitoes. These infections are endemic in Thailand, including urban areas, and can make patients feel very ill, and in a small percentage of individuals they can be deadly. Although these cases are more prevalent during the rainy season, they occur throughout the year. Using a mosquito repellent with DEET at least twice a day is effective for mosquito bite prevention. Please see the CDC website for additional information.

Thailand has been experiencing an epidemic of HIV infection and AIDS. Heterosexual transmission accounts for most HIV infections. HIV is common among prostitutes of both sexes, as well as among injection drug users. HIV infections among men who have sex with other men appear to be on the rise.

The CDC, WHO, and Thai authorities have confirmed human cases of the H1N1 (commonly known as "swine flu") and the H5N1 (commonly known as the "bird flu") strains of influenza in Thailand.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Thailand.

In Chiang Mai and other areas of northern Thailand, poor air quality might pose a health threat during the dry season, from March until June. Smoke and particulate matter from agricultural burning can irritate eyes and respiratory systems and worsen heart and respiratory diseases.
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 95.3%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 4.2%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 96.7%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 1.3%
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 2.1
People Living with HIV/AIDS 530,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .3
Diseases - note highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 6.6%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 88.7%
Sanitation Facitlity Access - percent of rural population improved 95.9%
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial diarrhea
Vectorborne Disease (s) dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria

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You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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2019 edition