Living in Thailand: Common Health Issues that Expats Need to be Wary Of

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Until and unless you are coming from a nation which is in geographical proximity to Thailand, expatriates will definitely feel a significant change in climate, culture and various other aspects of their daily lives. While some of those changes can actually feel like an improvement, expats still need to be wary of the common health problems prevalent in Thailand because foreigners often do not have the same level of resistance to them as a local may. On that note, here are some common health concerns that expats need to be wary of and take preventive measures against.

Malaria

Much of Asia is plagued by this mosquito-borne, parasitical disease and unfortunately, Thailand is not an exception to this trend. More than anything else, it is the naturally warm, wet and humid climatic conditions that make Thailand an ideal home for mosquitoes and the plasmodium parasite. While there is a vaccination, it isn’t always effective, so you are better off taking preventive precautions such as the ones mentioned below.

  • Always sleep with a mosquito net
  • Install mosquito nets on your windows
  • Wear light colored clothes
  • Don’t let uncovered water sit anywhere near your home, especially during the rainy season
  • Cover exposed skin with proper clothing in mosquito-infested areas

Allergies

Most of us are allergic to one thing or another, but in Thailand, instances of mild to severe allergies have become more common over the last decade or so. Bangkok in particular, is infamous for respiratory allergies and if you are an expat from Europe or America, it is quite possible that you may experience some form of an allergic reaction soon after getting there. In case you or anyone with you is experiencing symptoms such as frequent colds (running nose, congestion, etc.), respiratory discomfort and/or itchy hives on the skin, contact Samitivej for an immediate allergy test Bangkok to determine what is causing the problem and also to devise a course of treatment in accordance with the test results.

Diarrhea

When you are in Thailand, the most common cause for health concern is waterborne diarrhea, because the tap water is not safe to drink in the country. This holds true even for luxurious hotels and villas because the pipelines have been in place without change for more than two decades. Always depend on bottled water while you are in the country to avoid getting infected with a nasty stomach infection. The good news is that bottled water is very cheap in Thailand and it is completely safe for drinking too, as long as you go with a reputed brand like Nestle Pure Life or Chang Drinking Water.

In addition to these, be sure to get vaccinated against the likes of hepatitis (A and B), typhoid fever, Japanese Encephalitis, and other routine infection concerns before you arrive in the country. Local vaccination is also available if you are already there, but don’t take any chances and get them as soon as you can.