Health & Advice

Health insurance, including emergency evacuation, is absolutely essential. Doctors and hospitals expect cash payments for any medical treatment. The cost of medical evacuation is high. The hospital in Phnom Penh is reliable. It is suggested that any visitors bring adequate supplies of any essential personal medication, since that medication may not be available in Cambodia.

Food and drink:
All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should first be boiled or otherwise sterilised. Bottled water is widely available. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other risks:
Cholera may be a serious risk in this country and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding whether these precautions should include vaccination.

Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. Giardiasis, dysentery, typhoid fever and dengue fever are common throughout Cambodia. Dengue fever is particularly prevalent in Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kompong Thom and Siem Reap. Hepatitis B is hyperendemic. Japanese encephalitis occurs in rural areas from May to November, and is relatively common in the highlands where there are rice fields and pigs, as both are needed for the disease to occur. The vaccine is only usually given for people travelling in rural areas for four weeks or more.

Epidemics of avian influenza (bird flu) were reported in Asia in 2004 and again in 2005, and some human cases were confirmed. The last confirmed case was in December 2008. Visitors should avoid bird farms or markets, where contact with poultry might occur.

HIV/AIDS is endemic and safe sex practices are essential.

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