You should consult your physician regarding health risks and immunizations as soon as possible once you know you will be moving to Vietnam – some immunizations require weeks or months to complete. Most health risks in Hanoi are easily avoided with proper care and sanitation.

Diseases

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) – Do not eat raw eggs or poultry, and avoid poultry markets. Wash your hands frequently with soap. Symptoms include rapid onset of fever, sore throat, chills, headache and sore muscles.

Dengue Fever – This is a mosquito-borne infection for which there is no vaccine. It’s not common in the north of Vietnam, but does occur in Hanoi. Avoid mosquito bites by using mosquito nets and insect repellant. Mosquitoes that carry dengue fever are day-biters. Symptoms include severe fever, body aches and weakness.

Malaria is not a major concern in Hanoi, but it is common in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Before traveling to rural areas, check with your local physician to see if prophylaxis is advisable.

Rabies – Advise children to stay away from stray cats, dogs and monkeys (at the zoo). If bitten by a strange animal, wash the bite with soap and water and consult a doctor as soon as possible, though there is no need to panic. A vaccine is available and recommended.

Common illnesses

Allergies and asthma can be magnified in Hanoi due to the humidity and dust. See your doctor when symptoms occur.

Heat rash is a common ailment in the summer in Hanoi. A bath in baking soda can be soothing if a heat rash occurs, and staying in dry, well-ventilated rooms will help as well.

Recommended vaccinations

  • BCG (Tuberculosis) if not given previously.
  • Hepatitis A and B (separate immunizations).
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Rabies
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