Indonesia is a bustling tourist hotspot with many destinations such as Bali. The tropical island offers a varied mix of cultural experiences, historical spots and a frenetic nightlife to boot. However, before heading off, it is important to take note of medical precautions, including Bali travel vaccinations.
It is worth noting that Bali travel vaccinations can only protect you from a handful of tropical diseases. For the rest, you only need to observe some common sense and take precautions and you’ll be fine. Let’s take a closer look at the diseases you need to take note of and whether a vaccine exists.
Many public health experts believe Hepatitis A is the most serious infection for the traveling public. Indeed, only diarrhea is a more common travel-related condition. You are more likely to contract Hepatitis A in a developing country with a tropical climate, making Bali a hotspot.
Hepatitis A is a disease caused by a virus and it affects the lungs. The transmission of the disease is mainly through contaminated food or water. There is also evidence that you can acquire the disease from direct contact with people who are already infected.
Farmers and vendors dealing with fruits, vegetables, and other kinds of farm produce can pass the virus through items they handle. Ensure every food you eat in Bali is either well-cooked or thoroughly cleaned.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A include feeling nauseous, fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, the condition can lead to severe liver damage. Only a small percentage of Hepatitis A patients experience this though.
The good news is that there is a very effective and reliable vaccine for Hepatitis A. Medical centres highly recommend that travelers to Bali get vaccinated against Hepatitis A.
Typhoid fever is another tropical disease transmitted through food and water. The greatest danger connected to typhoid fever is that people without any obvious symptoms can spread the disease. This means you can get typhoid fever from a food vendor or waiter who appears perfectly healthy in your eyes.
A group of salmonella bacteria known as Salmonella typhi is responsible for causing typhoid fever.
Visitors to Bali receive recommendations to get typhoid fever vaccinations before landing on the island. The vaccine is even more important for those intending to stay longer in Bali or the larger Indonesian archipelago. The same is true for those intending to sample street food or travel to more remote locations on the island.
As a basic health precaution, only eat food served at your hotel or resort. If you intend to keep to this precaution, the need to get a vaccine before your flight is not as urgent.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a health condition transmitted from animals to humans). Animals such as dogs and wild monkeys transmit the disease. Specifically, it is caused by a strain of viruses called lyssavirus.
At the turn of the last decade (specifically in the last decade) Bali experienced a rampant rabies outbreak. This was enough to raise concerns among travelers visiting the island for leisure purposes.
In the aftermath of the outbreak, Bali municipal authorities set about an aggressive culling of street dogs in urban areas. This caused an outcry among many animal rights activists.
To stem off the bad press, Bali authorities put a stop to the culling of wild dogs. They instead initiated a mass rabies vaccination drive targeting both domestic and street dogs. Ten years into the program though, they have only managed to vaccinate about 50% of the dogs roaming the streets of Bali.
There is only a small risk of contracting rabies while visiting Bali. You can get vaccinated against rabies but this is not a big priority. More important is the precaution of keeping a distance from street dogs.
There is considerable risk for catching malaria while traveling in Bali. This risk is minimal for visitors who spend most of their time in resorts and urban areas.
There is no vaccine for malaria. Some travelers to Bali may feel the need to take anti-malarial prophylaxis but this is from an overabundance of precaution.
Some common-sense precautions will help you avoid contracting malaria while in Bali. Always sleep under (preferably insecticide-treated) mosquito nets. Before heading out into the wild, ensure you don hiking shoes, full-length pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
Like malaria, Dengue fever is another tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes. In Bali, the risk of contracting Dengue fever is higher than that of malaria.
The Aedes variety of mosquitoes is responsible for transmitting Dengue fever. Unlike the Anopheles ones that cause malaria, Aedes mosquitoes bite in the daytime as well as at night.
There is no vaccine against Dengue fever. This means your best course of action is to prevent yourself from getting mosquito bites. The precautions are the same as those given for avoiding malaria.
Bali is a well-developed island city and most of the hotels and resorts exceed basic standards of hygiene. Only a couple of vaccinations are necessary for someone traveling and staying for ten days or less. That said, it is always advisable to observe basic hygiene precautions and not taking unnecessary risks with foods and drinks.