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Keeping safe in China

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), TB is still prevalent in China and is among the six countries that accounted for 60% of new cases across the globe in 2015.

If you’re considering travelling close to the Chinese/ Myanmar border, Yunnan, you should be aware of the prevalence of malaria.

Make sure you’re up to date

Before travelling anywhere, you should always ensure that your vaccinations are all up to date. There are certain additional illnesses that you should be vaccinated against if you are travelling to China. Even though there is no yellow fever in China, you should be immunised against the disease and carry a certificate as proof of vaccination if you have entered China through a country where the disease is prevalent. If you're flying in direct from a country where there's no risk of yellow fever, this procedure isn't necessary. 

Keeping safe

China is still classified by WHO as ‘ cholera-endemic country,' which means that precautions should be taken when travelling to the country including vaccination. It's a good idea to drink bottled water rather than from a tap, to cut down the risk of this disease.

The other main diseases that the NHS recommends that travellers should be immunised against are:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid

Bird flu

Avian or bird flu is still present in China, and in August 2016, WHO said that ‘additional cases of laboratory-confirmed human infection' had been reported. Since 2013 there have been a total of 798 confirmed cases of humans affected by the virus. To date, there are no vaccinations against avian flu, though some countries advise treatment with the anti-viral, Tamiflu, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggests that ‘it is not recommended that travellers take Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) with them.'


Following the 2003 outbreak of the Seasonally Affected Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asia and then spread across the globe, 8,098 people suffered from SARS and of this number 744 died. SARS is a form of viral pneumonia, and though treatment exists for the disease, there is no vaccine against the disease. In 2016 China reported two new cases of SARS. 

Dengue fever

Dengue fever exists throughout China, especially in urban areas. The disease is spread through mosquitoes, and as yet there is no vaccination against the disease. 

Use common sense

To reduce infection from malaria and dengue fever, it's always a good idea to reduce the possibility of mosquito bites. Although scientists have been working on a vaccine against malaria for years, there still isn't a commercial vaccination against the disease, according to WHO. 

The NHS advises that mosquito bite avoidance is the best way to protect yourself from either malaria or dengue disease. Insect repellents are always a good idea, as are using a mosquito net at night and spraying your home with insecticides. Malaria prevention tablets are useful, but will not give you life long immunity, and you must take these well in advance of your travel to China.

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