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Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) (Asia)

Advice for All Destinations Immunisations Malaria Malaria Map Other Health Risks

Advice for All Destinations

If you're planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation. You’ll have to consider:

  • your destination
  • how long you'll stay
  • what you’ll be doing
  • your general health.

Where possible you should 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. They will assess your particular health risks before giving preventative advice, recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets.

Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken. The consultation allows the  opportunity to discuss important travel health risks including safe food and water, accident prevention, sun exposure, insect bites and animal bites.

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.

Ensure you have travel insurance and are fully covered for medical emergencies including repatriation. For Travel Safety Advice you should visit the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

A worldwide list of travel clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel Medicine is available on their website

Immunisations

  • 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: Tetanus.
  • Other vaccines to consider: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid.
  • Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Japanese Encephalitis.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers aged 1 year or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Notes on the diseases mentioned above

  • Diphtheria spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
  • Hepatitis A 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.

  • Hepatitis B 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.
  • 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.
  • Typhoid spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes.You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.

Malaria precautions

Malaria Map
  • Malaria risk is low throughout the year in some southern 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 usually 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 Travel

This 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

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