Philippines is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists and has some wonderful experiences to offer.

The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to the Philippines. 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 other 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.

  • Mosquito's and Bugs

    Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Zika virus are some of mosquito borne diseases in the Philippines. While there are vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and medication to reduce the risk of malaria, mosquito avoidance is the only way to prevent many of these diseases.

  • Eating/Drinking

    Travellers diarrhoea, giardia and dysentery are just some of the illnesses caused by contaminated food and water. Tap water in Philippines is generally not safe to drink.

  • Vaccine Recommendations

    Everyone should be up to date for routine childhood immunisations and may need adult boosters for such diseases as tetanus, measles, polio 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 usually recommended for travel to Philippines

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  • Typhoid

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

  • Rabies

    Avoid being bitten or scratched by any mammal. Consider pre-travel rabies vaccination (well before travel) for extended trips or where contact with animals is likely. Whether pre-vaccinated or not, thoroughly flush/disinfect any animal wound and seek prompt medical care for post exposure vaccination and wound care.
    Be aware fake rabies vaccines have been identified in Philippines.

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  • Malaria

    Risk is variable depending on islands visited – some are malaria free, some only have risk in rural areas and others have widespread risk (particularly Palawan, Sulu and Mindanao). As well as avoidance of mosquito bites from dusk till dawn, the need for preventive medication should be discussed with one of our doctors.

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  • Polio

    With some cases of Polio in remote areas of the Philippines in 2019, adult boosters for this vaccine are recommended. For some travellers proof of vaccination within the last 12 months may be required.

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  • Japanese encephalitis

    This serious but rare mosquito borne illness occurs mainly in rural areas, particularly in the wet season. Vaccination is available for those at high risk.

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  • Influenza

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

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  • Travellers’ diarrhoea, giardia and dysentery

    Observe strict food and water safety precautions and hand hygiene. Consider taking a water filtering drink bottle and well stocked kit with guidelines for treatment. Seek medical advice or evacuation for persistent or severe illness, particularly for infants, the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.

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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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  • Dengue fever

    Increasing in incidence in many parts of the world, dengue is a serious mosquito borne disease.

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  • Zika virus

    Not just a disease of South America, those travelling to Indonesia and other Asian destinations may be at risk of Zika virus.

    Read More
  • Chikungunya

    Spread through mosquito bites, this viral illness can present similar to Ross River virus, is usually less severe than dengue but may cause long term aches and pains

  • Natural Disasters and Security Issues

    Typhoon season occurs June to September and storms move east to west across the central/northern islands. Security and other travel issues are well documented on the Australian governments' website:
    Never leave Australia without appropriate travel insurance.

  • Dehydration and Heat Stroke

    Ensure adequate hydration, avoid prolonged periods in the sun and rest /cool down to treat. If severe seek medical attention.

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