Dehydration and sunburn
The sun is strong throughout the year in Malaysia. Proper care against sunburn must be constantly taken. Dehydration and loss of salt through perspiration are two other common problems for unprepared travellers. Drink plenty of fluids and replace your lost salt. Make sure you pack clothing suitable for a warm humid climate.
Due to the humid climate, mosquitoes tend to be present throughout the year. The three most significant diseases transmitted by mosquitoes are malaria, dengue fever and Japanese B encephalitis. To repel mosquitoes, ticks and other arthropods, apply an insect repellent containing DEET to your skin or clothing. The risk of malaria for most tourists visiting Peninsular Malaysia is extremely small. There is insignificant risk in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and other major cities. However, in East Malaysia, the risk of malaria is present throughout the year. Even in these regions, the risk is mainly off the coastal plains and towards the border areas. Generally, prophylaxis is recommended for those visiting Sabah or Sarawak.
Generally, the level of food hygiene throughout the country is high. However, make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food from street vendors should be treated with care. Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. If possible, avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.
Recommended vaccines: Poliomyelitis (childhood booster), tetanus (childhood booster), typhoid (food & water borne diseases), hepatitis A (food & water borne diseases). For those venturing outside cities and towns, further recommended vaccines are hepatitis B, rabies, Japanese B encephalitis, tuberculosis and meningitis. For those visiting Sabah and Sarawak, malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended.
Please present a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever if you are coming from or have recently travelled in the yellow fever endemic areas or countries listed below. Please also be aware of the vaccination requirements below, provided by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia.
Travellers from the following countries require a yellow fever certificate:
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela
Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Equatorial, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Central Africa Republic, Togo, Uganda, Mauritania, Democratic Republic Congo.
Additional yellow fever vaccination requirements in Malaysia:
All visitors or delegates (Malaysians and foreigners) coming from or going to/through countries with risk of yellow fever transmission (as listed above) are required to obtain a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Yellow fever vaccination is also required for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Travellers or delegates without a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate shall be quarantined upon arrival in Malaysia for a period not exceeding six days.
The period of validity of an international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever will be lifelong, beginning 10 days after the date of vaccination.
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