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Vaccinations, Inoculations, Immunizations, Travel Health - Saudi Arabia

Vaccination information for other places

Routine Vaccinations

Before travel, be sure you and your children are up to date on all routine immunizations according to schedules approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP). See the schedule for adults and the schedule for infants and children. Some schedules can be accelerated for travel.

See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. It might not be too late to get your shots or medications as well as other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.

Recommended Vaccinations

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to the Middle East. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

Required Vaccinations

Diseases found in the Middle East (risk can vary by country and region within a country; quality of in-country surveillance also varies)

The preventive measures you need to take while traveling in the Middle East depend on the areas you visit and the length of time you stay. You should observe the precautions listed in this document in most areas of this region. However, in highly developed areas of Israel, you should observe health precautions similar to those that would apply while traveling in the United States.

Malaria

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness.

Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including some cities. Travelers to malaria-risk areas, including infants, children, and former residents of the Middle East, should take an antimalarial drug. Travelers to some areas of Iran, Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, and Yemen may be at risk for malaria.

For additional information on malaria risk and prevention, see Malaria Information for Travelers to the Middle East.

There is no risk of malariain Bahrain, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk for yellow fever in the Middle East. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

Food and Waterborne Diseases

Make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food and waterborne diseases are the primary cause of illness in travelers. Travelers’ diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the Middle East and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage ( hepatitis).

Additional information: see the Safe Food and Water page for a list of links.

Other Disease Risks

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is reported throughout the area; visceral leishmaniasis, although rare throughout most of the area, is common in central Iraq, in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, in the northwest of Syria, in Turkey (southeast Anatolia only), and in the west of Yemen. Many cases of leishmaniasis have been reported in the US military in Iraq. A rise in West Nile fever has been seen recently in Israel. Outbreaks of dengue occurred in Saudi Arabia and Yemen in 2002. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.

Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or immigrants from this region) include tuberculosis (Yemen), lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis (Yemen), hepatitis B, and schistosomiasis (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria) To prevent schistosomiasis, do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Precautions.) Polio has resurfaced in Yemen. Pilgrims to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia have acquired meningococcal infections caused by serotypes A and W-135, as well as influenza.

Other Health Risks

Injuries

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from motor vehicle injuries: avoid drinking and driving; wear your safety belt and place children in age-appropriate restraints in the back seat; follow the local customs and laws regarding pedestrian safety and vehicle speed; obey the rules of the road; and use helmets on bikes, motorcycles, and motor bikes. Avoid boarding an overloaded bus or mini-bus. Where possible, hire a local driver.

What You Need To Bring With You

Staying Healthy During Your Trip

Travelers should take the following precautions

To stay healthy, do...

Do not

After You Return Home

If you have visited a malaria-risk area, continue taking your antimalarial drug for 4 weeks (chloroquine, doxycycline, or mefloquine) or seven days (atovaquone/proguanil) after leaving the risk area.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the physician your travel history.

Important: This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region. Consult with your doctor 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.

Date: July 19, 2005
Content Source: National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine