There is huge geographic and climactic variation from the cool far north to the tropical south, the mountainous west , and megacities in the east. Common destinations include the Forbidden City in Beijing, Teracotta Warriers in Xian, Yangtze river cruises, the Great Wall, ultramodern Shianghai, Guilin’s verticle limestone and Tibet via railway to high altitude.

The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to China.It 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 some things not mentioned here.

  • Coronavirus Outbreak

    In light of the current coronavirus outbreak and the dynamic nature of the situation, we advise anyone thinking of travelling to China to seek Smartraveller and WHO advice in advance of booking.
    Links to their site can be found in our alert section.

  • Mosquito's and Bugs

    The risk of malaria is very low in China, except those travelling to rural parts of the far southwest Yunnan province or to Hainan Island in the wet season. Our doctors will advise you as to whether malaria preventative medication is necessary or advisable. Mosquito bite avoidance is still important to prevent a number of other diseases.

  • Eating/Drinking

    Travellers diarrhoea, giardia and dysentery are just some of the illnesses caused by contaminated food and water.
    To reduce your risk of gastro observe strict food and water safety precautions and good hand hygiene

  • 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 China.

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  • Typhoid

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

  • Rabies

    Consider pre-travel rabies vaccination (at least three weeks before departure) for longer trips, those at risk or anyone wanting lifelong protection. Avoid animals (particularly dogs, monkeys, cats and bats). Thoroughly rinse and disinfect any animal wound and seek prompt medical care for post exposure management (whether or not pre-vaccinated).

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  • Malaria

    It is best to seek expert advice from a travel health doctor about the need for preventive medication if travelling to risk areas. Mosquito avoidance is essential. Any fever occurring during or after travel requires prompt investigation to exclude malaria or other diseases.

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  • Influenza

    Influenza is one of the most common vaccine preventable illnesses in travellers and is generally recommended for travel to China.

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  • Pollution

    Mainly a problem in the megacities with disastrous long-term effects for the local population. Asthma, eye irritation and increased risk of respiratory infections are the major issues for travellers. Carry inhalers if asthmatic. Flu and pneumonia vaccine as well as medication for self-treatment of respiratory infections are recommended for those susceptible.

  • Japanese encephalitis

    It is important to understand how to avoid this rare but potentially catastrophic mosquito borne disease. For those at significant risk there are a couple of vaccine options.

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  • Sexually transmitted illness

    Business travellers to China often put themselves at risk. Common sense is required. STD checks are available on return.

  • 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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  • Cholera

    An oral vaccine available for the prevention of cholera which also reduces the risk of travellers diarrhoea, is often taken by those wishing to significantly reduce their risk of gastro.

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  • Altitude Sickness

    Only a problem if travelling to Tibet. See us to discuss preventive medication and ways to reduce your risk.

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  • Bird Flu

    Sporadic cases occur, nearly always in locals who have direct contact with sick poultry. As a precaution, avoid live bird markets.

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