China (Asia)Advice for All Destinations Immunisations Malaria Malaria Map Other Health Risks Notice Board News
Advice for All Destinations
If you're planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation, including:
- your destination
- how long you'll stay
- what you’ll be doing
- your general health
Ideally consult with your travel healthcare practitioner 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. If your trip is sooner, contact them anyway, they may still be able to help and its never too late to seek advice.
Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken. These include food and water safety, accident prevention, care with sun exposure, avoiding insect bites and animal bites, and practicing good respiratory hygiene.
If you will be travelling with medication (including over the counter medication) you should check for any restrictions on medications before you travel, you can do this by contacting the embassy of the country you're visiting.
A worldwide list of travel clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel Medicine is available on their website
If you are unwell on return from travel, seek medical attention and let your healthcare practitioner know where you have been.
- Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
- Courses or boosters usually advised: Poliomyelitis.
- Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Tetanus; Tick-borne Encephalitis; Typhoid.
- Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Cholera; Japanese Encephalitis.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers aged 9 months or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for all travellers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. This requirement does not apply to travellers whose itineraries are limited to Hong Kong and Macao.
Notes on the diseases mentioned above
spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. It would be unusual for travellers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
Risk is higher during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water.
Risk is highest for humanitarian aid workers; those working in refugee camps or slums; those caring for people with cholera.
spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.
Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.
spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.
Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.
- Japanese Encephalitis:  spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is highest for long stay travellers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
- Poliomyelitis:  spread person to person through the faecal-oral route and by consuming contaminated food and water. A total of 5 doses of polio vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended for countries where polio remains a problem.
- Rabies:  spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, and also cats and bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children.All travellers should avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic) particularly dogs and cats. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
- Tetanus:  spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
- Tick-borne Encephalitis:  spread mainly through the bite of an infected tick. Risk is higher during the warmer months, for those exposed outside in forests, woods, and grassy areas (e.g. forestry workers, farmers, campers, hikers).
- Typhoid:  spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes.You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.
Malaria precautionsMalaria Map
- Malaria risk is low throughout the year in Yunnan and in all other areas.
- Malaria precautions are essential. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
- See malaria map – additional information can be found by clicking on the Regional Information icon below the map.
- Low to no risk areas: antimalarial tablets are not normally advised.
- If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
Other Health Risks
Altitude and TravelThis country has either areas with high altitude (2400m or more) or/and areas with very high altitude (3658m or more). Travellers who may go into areas of high altitude should take care to avoid ill effects of being at altitude including Acute Mountain Sickness, a potentially life-threatening condition. For further information see Altitude and Travel.
Dengue FeverA viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain - hence its other name 'breakbone fever'. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. For further information see Dengue Fever.
SchistosomiasisA parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin and prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams. For further information see Schistosomiasis.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
In January 2020 cases of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) were reported in China. This virus causes fever, a cough and breathing difficulties.
As of the on 29 January 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province and advise against all but essential travel to mainland China (not including Hong Kong or Macao).
FCO travel advisories are subject to change, prior to travel please check the FCO China page for latest advice:
Travellers to mainland China (excluding Wuhan or Hubei Province), Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand should be aware if they develop symptoms on return to the UK that are compatible with COVID-19 they should self-isolate and contact one of the following:
- NHS 111 (England and Wales)
- 0300200 7885 (Northern Ireland)
- NHS24 (Call 111) or your General Practitioner (Scotland)
Polio Vaccination Exit Recommendations
Travellers visiting this country for longer than 4 weeks may be advised to have a booster dose of a polio containing vaccine if they have not had one in the past 12 months. They should carry proof of having had this vaccination. Please speak to your travel health adviser to discuss.
- 21 Feb 2020 - Travel Advice for Coronavirus COVID-19 (Update 8)
- 14 Feb 2020 - Travel Advice for Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 (Update 7)
- 06 Feb 2020 - Outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (Update 6)
- 31 Jan 2020 - Outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (Update 5)
- 30 Jan 2020 - Chinese New Year (Update 2)
- 28 Jan 2020 - Outbreak of Pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei, China (Update 4)
- 26 Jan 2020 - Outbreak of Pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei, China (Update 3)
- 23 Jan 2020 - Chinese New Year (Update 1)
- 23 Jan 2020 - Outbreak of Pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei, China (Update 2)
- 20 Jan 2020 - Outbreak of Pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei, China (Update 1)
- 10 Jan 2020 - Outbreak of Pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei, China