Vaccination and Travel Information for Burma

MYANMAR ( Burma )

  Information current as at: February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No 1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dublin 2 Ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.


Climate: The climate of Myanmar is roughly divided into three seasons: Summer, highest temperatures during March and April in Central Myanmar up to above 43.3 ° C while in Northern Myanmar it is about 36.1 ° C and on the Shan Plateau between 29.4 ° C and 35 ° C.
Rainy season, from mid-May to end of October, with annual rain fall: 10 inches in Central Myanmar while the coastal regions of Rakhine and Tanintharyi get about 200 inches.
Winter, which starts from November to end of February with temperature in hilly areas with an elevation of over 3000 feet drops below 0 ° C!
Capital City: Rangoon ( Yangon )
Altitude: 20 Metres
Main Cities: Bagan, Bassein, Mandalay, Moulmein, Taunggyi,
Population: 45,573,000
Land Area (sq km): 657,740
Currency: 1 Myanmar kyat = 100 pyas
Languages: Burmese
Religions: Buddhist, Christian (Baptist, Roman Catholic)Muslim 4%, animist
Economy: Industrial and Agriculture Products.



  The D2 medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

CHOLERA Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
DIPHTHERIA We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

HEPATITIS 'A' Immunisation is strongly recommended but not compulsory.


HEPATITIS 'B' Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in the area for 1 month or more.
Transmission of Hepatitis B is through sex or contact with contaminated blood, needles and syringes.


JAP.B.ENCEPHALITIS Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in the rural or remote areas for 1 month or more at a time.


POLIO Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.



RABIES Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be staying in rural areas for 1 month or more at a time.


TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not routinely recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt, and this is recommended pre- and post- travel for those going to ‘at risk’ regions.


TETANUS We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

TYPHOID FEVER Immunisation is recommended.

YELLOW FEVER A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas. Nationals and residents of Myanmar are required to possess certificates of vaccination on their departure to an infected area.





Rural only. No risk in cities of Rangoon (Rangoon) and Mandalay.

There are five common medications for malaria prevention available in Ireland. They are: chloroquine, doxycycline, malarone, mefloquine, paludrine. To determine the appropriate antimalarial, it is advised that the traveller discuss this with a Worldwise Travellers Health Specialist or other Travel Health Professional. None of the medicines are 100% effective against the disease at all times, and each has its own side effects. These need to be discussed with the intending traveller.

Malaria risk predominantly due in the malignant (P.falciparum) form , exists commonly below 1000 m (a) throughout the year in Karen State; (b) from March through December in Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine and Shan states, Pegu Division, and Hlegu, Hmawbi, and Taikkyi townships of Rangoon (formerly Rangoon) Division; (c) from April through December in the rural areas of Tenasserim Division; (d) from May through December in Irrawaddy Division and the rural areas of Mandalay Division; (e) from June through November in the rural areas of Magwe Division, and in Sagaing Division. P. falciparum resistant to chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine reported. Mefloquine resistance reported in the eastern part of Shan State. P. vivax resistant to chloroquine reported.

Special note: Travellers to the eastern states of Burma (Shan, Kayah, Kayin) should use either doxycycline or Malarone as their antimalarial drug because of mefloquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in that area.

There are five common medications for malaria prevention available in Australia and New Zealand. None of the medicines is 100% effective against the disease at all times, and each has its own side effects. Listed below in order of preference are our recommendations for this country.

Please read the side-effect profile of each regime before use.
1 = most recommended for the area, 4 = least recommended

 

General Advice on Mosquito Prevention.
Malaria is transmitted by mosquito bite, so recommend all travellers to the country to:

  • cover exposed skin after dusk when they are at most risk for getting bitten
  • use insect repellent with DEET in it.
  • return before dusk from country areas where malarial mosquitoes are the most active
  • sleep in screened room or use a bed net, remembering to tuck in the edges & spray inside.
  • sleep in air conditioned rooms or rooms with fans. Vapour pads and smoke coils also help. Insect buzzers are useless.




GENERAL
Medical facilities in Burma are inadequate for even routine medical care. Medical facilities are limited outside the capital, Rangoon. There are few trained medical personnel, as the universities were closed for several years and have only recently reopened. Most foreign drugs on sale have been smuggled into the country, and are often counterfeit or adulterated and thus unsafe. HIV/AIDS is widespread among high-risk populations in the country, and malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis and other infectious diseases are endemic to most parts of the country.

Visitors can expect to have their baggage searched on arrival. They may be required to leave items such as mobile phones and personal computers with customs.

HEALTH, ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The D2 medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.


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