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Singapore Health

Summary of recommendations:
All travelers should visit either their personal physician or a travel health clinic 4-8 weeks before departure.

  • Hepatitis A
  • Yellow fever: Required for all travelers greater than one year of age arriving from or transiting through a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas. Not recommended otherwise.
  • For travelers who may spend a month or more in rural areas and for short-term travelers who may spend substantial time outdoors in rural areas, especially after dusk
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)Tetanus-diphtheria 
Other infections
  • Leptospirosis may occur in Singapore.
  • Marine hazards include corals, jellyfish, sharks, sea urchins, and sea snakes. Avoid unmarked, unpatrolled beaches.
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection is reported, but travelers are not at risk unless they have unprotected sexual contacts or receive injections or blood transfusions.
Recent outbreaks
Outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease are regularly reported from Singapore, most recently in April 2006, April 2007, April 2008, and April 2009 (see ProMED-mail, April 24, 2007, and April 27, 2008). As of April 11, 2009, a total of 5,471 cases had been recorded for the year. The outbreaks in 2006 and 2007 were caused by coxsackievirus A16, whereas most of the infections in 2008 were caused by enterovirus 71.

The first local cases of chikungunya fever, a mosquito-borne illness characterized by fever and incapacitating joint pains, were reported from Singapore in January 2008. The number of cases began to rise in July 2008, resulting in a total of 388 locally acquired cases by December.

Food and water precautions
Avoid food and beverages obtained from street vendors. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or fish. Some types of fish may contain poisonous biotoxins even when cooked. Barracuda in particular should never be eaten. Other fish that may contain toxins include red snapper, grouper, amberjack, sea bass, and a large number of tropical reef fish.and avoid eat fruits or vegetables unless they have been peeled or cooked or uncooked foods that are no longer piping hot.

Insect protection
If the sleeping area is not otherwise protected, use a mosquito coil, which fills the room with insecticide through the night. carry to Wear long sleeves, long pants, hats and shoes (rather than sandals).Products with a higher concentration of DEET carry an increased risk of neurologic toxicity, especially in children, without any additional benefit. Do not use either DEET or picaridin on children less than two years of age.

Traveling with children

All children should be up-to-date on routine childhood immunizations, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children who are 12 months or older should receive a total of 2 doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, separated by at least 28 days, before international travel.Before you leave, make sure you have the names and contact information for physicians, clinics, and hospitals where you can obtain emergency medical care if needed.

Travel and pregnancy
For pregnant women in good health, the second trimester (18–24 weeks) is probably the safest time to go abroad and the third trimester the least safe, since it's far better not to have to deliver in a foreign country.International travel should be avoided by pregnant women with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or a history of complications during previous pregnancies, such as miscarriage or premature labor.

For an ambulance in Singapore, call 995.

Medical facilities
Good medical care is widely available. For a broad array of travel medicine services, you can go to the Traveller's Health and Vaccination Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng; ph. (65) 6357 2222; website The International Medical Clinic, which is affiliated with the Australian-based Travel Doctor (TMVC) Group, is dedicated to the care of expatriates (see their website at for locations and phone numbers).

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