Please note that below recommendations are merely based on our own experiences and are not to be considered as professional medical advice! In order to be well protected from tropical disease or viral infection please consult your doctor, a travel clinic or the nearest tropical medical institute before travelling!
Highly recommended vaccinations:
– routine vaccinations such as tetanus, diphteria and polio
– viral hepatitis A and B
Other recommended vaccinations depending on the areas you are intending to visit:
– typhoid (if your itinerary includes stays in rural areas and/or the interior of Borneo)
– meningococcal meningitis (if your itinerary includes longer stays in rural areas)
– tuberculosis (if you intend to travel in rural areas for several days; especially close to the Indonesian border)
– Transmissions of Malaria have only been reported for certain areas in Borneo. Visitors staying in the cities or coastal areas of Borneo may not require Malaria prophylaxis. However, if you intend to travel to the interior and spend several days in the jungle, some sort of protection against Malaria may be necessary. Please consult a doctor for latest medical travel advice and to get the ideal protection for your individual case. The current options available are: personal measures against mosquito bites, use of chemoprophylaxis or the carriage of a standby emergency treatment (SBET). Should your travel plans include any diving, please be aware that dive operators in Malaysia will usually reject travellers who took the anti-malaria drug called ‘Lariam’ (mefloquine) from taking part in scuba diving, as this prophylaxis has side effects that can imitate and worsen symptoms of decompression illness!
– Japanese encephalitis is another viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease occurs in small numbers of cases in Sarawak, usually following the start of the rainy season. Vaccination is recommended for visitors staying in rural areas with risk of exposure to mosquito bites for several days.
– Dengue fever is still a problem throughout the island of Borneo. As of today, there are no specific dengue therapeutics available and the only licensed vaccine available is highly controversial and not qualified by the World Health Organization. Prevention is currently limited to vector control measures and personal measures against mosquito bites.
– For any disease that is being transmitted by mosquitoes, naturally the best prevention is not to get bitten by mosquitoes. Of course that is easier said than done, but there are several personal measures that travellers could result to in order to minimise the risk, such as using insect repellents and mosquito coils, wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts when travelling in rural areas (particularly between dusk and dawn), as well as using mosquito nets for overnights in rural or forested areas.
What to do in order to stay fit & healthy:
– use mosquito repellent
– apply sun creams
– carry along antiseptics to prevent infections in case of little wounds or cuts
– bring treatments for digestive disorders in case your stomach disagreed to any of the local food
– and most importantly stay well hydrated!!!