Health risks for each individual and their trip to Indonesia vary greatly with location and itinerary, for example from the business traveller to overcrowded cities, tropical island family holidays and aid work in rural villages.
The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to Indonesia.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.
Most Common Health Issues
Observe strict food and water safety precautions (tap water in Indonesia is not safe to drink) and hand hygiene. Consider taking a water filter and well stocked kit with guidelines for treatment. Seek medical advice or evacuation if persistent or severe illness, particularly for infants, the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions. Adequate medical insurance is essential.
Mosquitos and tropical viruses
In Indonesia mozzies transmit to humans a number of viruses which have been on the increase due to global warming, changing environments and human travel .These include dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis (JE), Chikungunya and Zika (which particularly affects the developing foetus). Avoid mosquito bites. Vaccines exists for JE.
There is very little risk in Bali and none in most of the main cities in Indonesia, however there is some risk on Lombok and isolated hotspots in central Java and much of rural Sumatra. 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.
Accidents and STD’s
Be sensible. Many accidents are alcohol related. Wear helmets on bikes/ motorbikes. Have adequate insurance.
Abstain from sex or use protection. STD checks are available on return.
Animal Bites and Wounds
Consider pre-travel rabies vaccination (well before travel) for longer trips, those at risk or anyone wanting lifelong protection. Avoid animals (dogs, monkeys, cats, bats). Thoroughly rinse and disinfect any animal wound and seek prompt medical care for post exposure management (whether or not pre-vaccinated).
Severe penalties often apply for possession or trafficking. Potency and ingredients are highly variable and maybe lethal. Keep your luggage locked. Don’t accept packages from strangers.
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, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, cholera and influenza. Decisions regarding which are most appropriate depend on duration and nature of travel, itinerary, age underlying medical conditions and past vaccinations.