This small landlocked Himalayan Kingdom to the east of Nepal is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for those wanting a unique experience, with majestic mountains, cliff top monasteries, rare wildlife and traditional Buddhist culture. It is the only country in the world that measures ‘gross national happiness’.

The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to Bhutan. This should not be taken as a substitute for a personal consultation with one of our travel health doctors, whose advice will be specific for you and your trip and may include issues not mentioned here.

  • Plan Head - Calendar/Itinerary?

    Six to eight weeks out from departure is a good time to have a travel health consultation. You may need blood tests to check immunity to diseases or need a course of vaccines like rabies for example, and this gives you plenty of time to get everything completed. If you are travelling sooner however it's not too late for an appointment, simply make one as soon as you can.

  • Travelling to Altitude

    Anyone travelling above 2500m needs to understand the health implications of being at altitude. Certain trekking itineraries (rapid ascent) pose higher risk and some individuals are more prone than others.

  • Eating/Drinking

    Travellers diarrhoea, giardia and dysentery are just some of the illnesses caused by contaminated food and water. Talk to us and your tour operator about water safety options.

  • Vaccine Recommendations

    Everyone should be up to date for routine childhood immunisations and may need adult boosters for such diseases as tetanus, measles and hepatitis B.
    Additional vaccines may also be recommended depending on your individual medical history, current itinerary and the likelihood of future travel.

List of Common Health Issues

  • Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A is commonly recommended for travel to Bhutan.

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  • Typhoid

    A food and water borne disease, typhoid vaccination is recommended for some itineraries.

  • Rabies

    Rabies occurs in Bhutan. Highest risk is from dog bites. Consider pre-travel vaccination well before travel. Thoroughly flush and disinfect animal wounds and seek prompt medical care.

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  • Influenza

    Influenza is one of the most common vaccine preventable illnesses in travellers. In many parts of the world there is no 'flu season', risk being all year round.

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  • Altitude sickness

    Understanding the risks, prevention, treatment and symptoms of altitude sickness is a must for those going above 2500m. Our medical staff will discuss this with during your consultation and may prescribe the medication acetazolamide.

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  • Travellers diarrhoea, giardia and dysentery

    There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of gastro spoiling your trip, including taking a water filtration drink bottle and one of our customisable medication kits with guidelines for self-treatment.

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  • Respiratory illness

    Differentiating between viral (cold or flu) and bacterial infections can be tricky. The latter requires antibiotics, the former does not. Flu vaccination is highly advisable as well as pneumonia vaccination for those at high risk. A well stocked kit, including the antibiotic azithromycin is advisable, with instructions on appropriate usage.

  • Trekking issues

    Travellers should ensure they are fully fit for the rigours of the long uphill and downhill walks in Bhutan. Nothing beats training walking up and down hills at home. Walking boots or shoes should be well worn in. Trekking poles greatly reduce stress on knees. Dress in layers that can be easily removed and in suitable modern synthetic trekking fabrics.

  • Japanese encephalitis

    Rarely a risk for tourists travelling to Bhutan, there are vaccine options if required.

    Read More
  • Security and other general travel health issues

    See the Australian governments' website:
    Never leave Australia without appropriate travel insurance.

Latest Health Alerts

  • COVID 19 (Coronavirus)

    March 29, 2020

    As there is no non-essential overseas travel at this time this article will simply remain as an information resource for COVID-19. See our main COVID-19 page for more detailed information. We hope to be able to inform our travelers once again after this crisis passes. The links below remain trustworthy

  • Sri Lanka – Dengue Fever

    January 9, 2020

    Over 48,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported in Sri Lanka since 1st October 2019, a significant increase in incidence. Travellers should observe strict mosquito avoidance measures, particularly during daylight hours.

  • Solomon Islands – proof of measles vaccination required

    December 19, 2019

    As a result of recent outbreaks of measles in various countries, the Solomon Islands' will be requiring arriving travellers from/via American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Philippines, Samoa, or Tonga to show proof of measles vaccination, effective December 28th 2019. Vaccination needs to have been at least 15 days prior and