Five of the Most Common Diseases in Vietnam

Common diseases in VietnamVietnam is a Communist, Asian country just south of China. An incredibly tourist-friendly country, Vietnam is home to lively markets, historical monuments and exquisite food. Travelers to Vietnam are recommended to get the appropriate vaccinations and take precautions, so as not to become infected. Here are five of the most common diseases in Vietnam:

1. Chikungunya

This disease, rare in America, is present in Vietnam because of the high humidity and mosquito population. Spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, chikungunya can cause symptoms such as fever, joint pain, fatigue and nausea. Although this disease is not pleasant, it is rarely lethal.

2. Rabies

In Vietnam, it is very expensive to vaccinate dogs and animals that carry rabies. However, with over 900 deaths in the past decade caused by rabies, it is necessary to take action against this disease.

This very serious illness occurs when an infected animal bites a human. While the first few symptoms may not feel abnormal (fever, headache and weakness), the next wave of symptoms (anxiety, confusion or hallucinations) usually leads to death within a few days.

3. Japanese Encephalitis

The CDC recommends that travelers get a vaccination against this common disease if they are staying in Vietnam for more than a month. Also contracted through the bite of a mosquito, this disease is much more serious than chikungunya and can lead to death. Prevent the disease by taking precautions against mosquitoes.

4. Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is common in Southeastern Asia. This disease is spread through unclean food and water or through an infected person. Antibiotics and vaccinations are available to treat and prevent typhoid in Vietnam, but washing hands frequently and staying away from unclean areas is recommended, too.

5. Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis is one of the most common diseases in Vietnam. According to USAID, “Annually, it is estimated that Vietnam has 17,000 TB deaths.” This huge number has pushed researchers to examine how to stop this terrible infection.

TB is a bacteria-spread disease that is most commonly contracted from people’s coughs, sneezes or even just a discussion. Mayo Clinic says that “without treatment, tuberculosis can be fatal.”

So before traveling to Asia, take a few extra precautions against these five common diseases in Vietnam.

Sydney Missigman

Photo: Flickr