Samoa is a group of tropical pacific islands east of Fiji. The two main land masses are Savai’i and Upola with four smaller adjacent islands.
Common reasons for Australians to travel there include brief stopovers as a part of a Pacific cruise, or longer stays to experience the unique pacific island culture and natural attractions including beaches, coral reefs, waterfalls, rain forest and wildlife sanctuaries.
The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to these islands. 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.
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.
In Samoa mozzies transmit a number of viruses which have been on the increase due to global warming, changing environments and human travel. These include dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika (which may cause birth defects in pregnant women). All of these viruses are preventable by taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites during the daytime through use of DEET based repellents.
Travellers diarrhoea, giardia and dysentery are just some of the illnesses caused by contaminated food and water. Tap water in Samoa is not safe to drink.
Travellers should be up to date for routine childhood vaccines such as tetanus, measles and hepatitis B. Any of the following vaccines may also be recommended – hepatitis A, typhoid and influenza. Decisions regarding which are most appropriate depend on duration and nature of travel, itinerary, age, underlying medical conditions and past vaccination.
Hepatitis A vaccination is often recommended for travel to Samoa.Read More
A food and water borne disease, typhoid vaccination is often recommended.
There was a measles outbreak in Samoa late in 2019 that resulted in a one month state of emergency and proof of immunity being required for entry. All travellers should ensure they are up to date with their measles vaccinations and double check current entry requirements prior to departure.Read More
Observe strict food and water safety precautions. Consider taking a water filter and well stocked self treatment kit with guidelines for treatment. Seek medical advice if persistent or severe illness, particularly for infants, the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.Read More
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.Read More
Mosquito bite avoidance is the only way to prevent these viruses. Dengue causes a short term severe illness with fever, whereas chikungunya tends to be less severe but may cause long term aches and pains.Read More
Coral cuts, box jellyfish, stonefish and sea urchins all pose a risk to swimmers, divers and snorkelers. Seek local advice for prevention and immediate first aid for treatment. Seafood poisoning (ciguatera toxin) can be avoided by not eating large reef fish, such as snapper, groper, and barracuda (even if well cooked).
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
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.
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