Health Risks and Vaccinations Guide

  • If you’re travelling to India from a Yellow Fever infected area, you will require an International Certificate of Vaccination. That aside, no vaccinations are required to enter India. For stays longer than six months in the country, the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) requires that an HIV/AIDS test is done as a pre-requisite for obtaining the Residence Permit Form, following the first six months in the country. There are many stances on what health precautions foreigners should take when coming to India. Some conservative travel specialists may recommend a very long list including shots for rare diseases in India, such as Japanese Encephalitis and Cholera, while others suggest that unless travelling to high-risk areas, Typhoid and Hepatitis A and B are only required (also recommended for travel in most countries).Malaria is not prevalent in Bangalore, and taking anti-malaria medications is not recommended for periods longer than six months. So ex-pats, especially those travelling across India, should take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes – wear light-coloured clothes, use insect repellent and sleep in a mosquito-net when in infested areas.Malaria, Dengue, Filariasis, Japanese Encephalitis, Leishmaniasis, and the Bubonic Plague are all diseases carried by insects (parasites, mosquitoes, fleas) in various regions of India. Protecting yourself against insect bites and non-potable water, and washing your hands and body well with soap, will help to prevent these diseases.The largest health concern in Bangalore, however, is smog. Chest and sinus infections are the most common result of this, so keep your immune system high with multi-vitamins and plenty of local fresh fruit. When traversing the city or stuck in traffic, it’s also a good idea to roll up the windows if in a car or cover your nose and mouth with a mask or scarf to prevent any toxic inhalations.It’s a good idea to visit your local travel medicine specialist at least six weeks prior to departure to discuss your options. Also, refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for an excellent and thorough health overview.