I know rabies exists throughout Indonesia, in some places worse than others, but in reality does everyone going off the beaten track in Indonesia get innoculated? The shots are very expensive on top of the other tablets/innoculations I have to get. You could afford a short break with all the money needed to be spent on these medical precautions though I know it;s a small price compared to ones life. I think in Bali the're beginning to get the rabies situation, due to stray dogs under control, far less have died this year so far compared to last. Last year it was in excess of 100, this year only 10 have died so far. Suddenly I'm having to factor all sorts of costs I didn't envisage into my trip, I wonder have I made a wise decision in my choice of destination?
You do not have to have a rabies vaccination unless you are really planning on getting off the beaten path. The outbreak of rabies has been confined to Bali, and elsewhere it is probably about as common as it is at home. Mostly, just steer clear of dogs, cats, monkeys, and other mammals besides people. If you intend to do a lot of biking or hiking, you might want to consider it.
Also, be aware there has been an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Bali that has affected some travelers in the Kuta area, so in case you start coming down with a cold you in that area you should immediately see a doctor. The origin hasn't been traced, and there are many ways to contract this very serious form of pneumonia. There is currently a sizable cholera outbreak in Papau New Guinea.
And depending on how long your stay in Indonesia is and what activities you will engage in, you may want to rethink your inoculations. Otherwise, I would not consider it essential. Personally, I would also not bother with malaria prophylactics unless you are going into areas with known outbreaks, and the same with Japanese encephalitis. In terms of malaria medication, you can get this at international hospitals in Bali like BIMC in Kuta or Jakarta. Being smart about mosquitoes will help protect you here as well as from other serious illnesses like dengue fever for which there are no vaccines or prophylactics.
Hep A I would recommend to anyone traveling in Southeast Asia who doesn't already have it. Hep B is also one I highly suggest but it has to be administered in three rounds over a six-month process. And if you are going to be staying long, in rural areas, smaller towns, with local families or will be in situations where you may be unsure about the water quality, you will want typhoid as well.
Of course, it is always better to be safe that sorry . . . http://www.southeastasiatraveladvice.com/2010/12/what-vaccines-do-i-need-for-southeast.html over 6 years ago
Hi Jarrod, thanks for the great answer. This is the trip I've booked so far:
It takes in alot of Sumatra, java and Bali. Areas I may go to are Krakatua, Gili Islands, Lombok, Flores and Komodo island. I have no plans to visit Papua new Guinea or Sulawesi. Please let me know if you would alter any of your advice based on this itinerary.
I've been advised to takr Malarone for malaria, though I believe in areas this has become inneffective though I'm not sure if that relates to Indonesia. Alot of people feel malaria tablets can have dodgy side effects so i'm worried about that. I'm also worried about the possible toxic effects of Deet. Are there any natural deterants for mosquitoes that you can recommend? over 6 years ago
Sounds like a fantastic trip! Malarone is probably the anti-malarial with the least side effects but avoidance of being bitten in the first place is more important since no drugs can avoid Dengue Fever for example. My strong recommendation would also be to take your own mosi bed net - that way you can guarantee your own protection at night regardless of where you stay.
I've travelled extensively to all of these places, Flores being a highlight many years ago, and I wouldn't bother with the rabies injections in advance ... However if you do get bitten or scratched by a dog or monkey, get yourself out of there to the nearest hospital that can treat you. Flights are cheap compared.
Oh, and of course buy travel insurance. Just in case.
Have a wonderful trip over 6 years ago
Personally, I haven't used malaria tablets in the Philippines and Indonesia for a while now and instead, have always been very careful to use a spray on/roll on bug repellant and wear long clothes after dusk. Using any anti-bug lotion for short lengths of time (like a holiday) shouldn't be harmful and there are always 'natural' lotions and sprays in the supermarket, anyway.
Keep your shots up to date if possible. Most certainly the Hep ones. Consider it a necessary expense, like travel insurance.
And most importantly, chill and have a great time! We never found stray dogs to be a threat in Bali, especially in the years since efforts have been made to keep them away from tourists. You're more likely to eat something funky by accident than to get yourself into a serious medical mishap. My advice is to make sure food is prepared fresh, throw yourself into as many off the beaten track adventures as possible and be prepared for your best-laid plans to change. There are lots of other places you can visit for safety and certainty, like you local mall ;) over 6 years ago