Vaccination and Health Risks
Your doctor can give you important advice and prescribe vaccines and medications to help you stay safe while traveling abroad. The following are vaccinations and medications you and your physician may wish to consider before travel to Laos.
- To have the most benefit, see a doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect. If you are leaving sooner, it is still important to see a doctor as soon as possible for vaccines, medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
- Your doctor will make specific recommendations, depending on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and other factors. If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school.
- If you have a chronic medical condition, share your travel plans with any doctors who are currently treating you.
Vaccine or Disease
Vaccination or Treatment Recommendations
|Routine||Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.|
|Hepatitis A||Recommended because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Laos, regardless of where you are eating or staying.|
|Hepatitis B||Recommended, especially for those who have sexual contact, contaminated needles, blood products, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Recommended if your trip will last more than a month, depending on where you are going and what time of year you are travelling. You should also consider this vaccine if you plan to visit rural areas in Laos or will be spending a lot of time outdoors, even for trips shorter than a month. Japanese Encephalitis presumed to be endemic countrywide. Year-round, with peak June until September. Sentinel surveillance has identified human cases in north, central, and southern Laos.|
|Malaria||Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Along the Laos-Burma (Myanmar) border in the provinces of Bokeo and Louang Namtha and along the Laos-Thailand border in the province of Champasak and Saravan: Atovaquone-proguanil or doxycycline. All other areas with malaria: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Drug resistance: Chloroquine and mefloquine. Areas with malaria: All, except none in the city of Vientiane.|
|Meningococcal Meningitis||Not endemic|
|Rabies||Recommended for travelers travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites. People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers). People who are taking long trips or moving to Laos Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.|
|Typhoid||Recommended, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.|
|Yellow Fever||Proof of yellow fever vaccination required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.|
This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region. Conditions change over time and the recommendations for various countries at the time you travel may differ from the recommendations listed here. Consult with your doctor or visit the CDC website for specific information related to your needs and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.
Be sure to read the information about all the regions you are planning to visit.