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Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

A stay abroad implies for any traveler to take certain health precautions. The section below mentions the essential indications. However, these indications do not exempt the traveler from a consultation with their doctor and/or in a hospital, long enough before the departure date to allow the recall of vaccines.

Before leaving

Hospitalization costs and health expenses

In order to cope with hospitalization costs and health expenses, which are sometimes very high abroad, it is imperative to have an assistance contract or insurance covering all medical expenses (including surgery and hospitalization) and medical repatriation, at the risk of not having access to care, including in the event of a life-threatening emergency. Under no circumstances can these costs be borne by the French Embassy on site.

Health Recommendations

If necessary, consult your doctor or an international vaccination center to assess your state of health and benefit from health recommendations, particularly on vaccinations.

If necessary, consult your dentist before departure.

Build up your personal pharmacy accordingly and carry the necessary medication in your luggage; never take medicines bought on the street (risk of counterfeiting). Medicines must be in their original packaging with the original labels, accompanied by a prescription or medical certificate translated into English. For more information, see the Practical information sheet.

Vaccinations

  • No vaccinations are compulsory but some vaccinations are recommended.
  • Updated diphtheria-tetanus-poliomyelitis (DTP) vaccination is recommended, as well as rubella-mumps-measles (ROR) vaccination in children; Tuberculosis vaccination is also desirable, given the large number of cases of tuberculosis in Malaysia.
  • Depending on local travel conditions and places of stay, vaccinations against typhoid fever, rabies and viral hepatitis A and B may be recommended. For stays in rural areas, vaccination against Japanese encephalitis may be necessary.

See Health Risks section below.

Sanitary risks

Mosquito-borne diseases

Dengue fever

Dengue fever is endemic (particularly in the state of Selangor which surrounds Kuala Lumpur, and in the capital itself) and on the rise. Dengue fever is transmitted through infected mosquitoes. The symptoms of the disease are similar to those of the flu (high fever, joint pain, headache). There is currently no preventive treatment against dengue infection. Management is therefore above all symptomatic. It is imperative to avoid taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory. Individual prevention is essentially based on means of protection against mosquito bites (see below). Sungai Buloh Hospital has a specialized service for dengue fever: Hospital Sungai Buloh, Jalan Hospital, 47000 Sungai Buloh, Selangor Darul Ehsan (contact details in Useful Contacts -opposite-). Other Malaysian hospitals are also equipped to treat this disease.

More information on the Ministry of Solidarity and Health

Japanese encephalitis

This disease, which exists only in Asia, is transmitted by mosquitoes in rural areas. In the context of a tourist trip, vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is not systematically recommended for all travelers. Preventative measures should be taken to protect against mosquitoes.

Malaria

Malaria (or malaria) is present in the country but prophylaxis is only necessary outside of urban and coastal areas. Malaria is a (potentially serious) parasitic disease transmitted by mosquito bites. Conventional mosquito protection measures during the evening and night are strongly recommended (see General preventive measures to protect against mosquitoes below).

With regard to drug treatment, it is advisable to contact your attending physician or a hospital center specializing in travel medicine before departure. The treatment must be continued after returning to France, for a variable duration depending on the product used. During the stay, and during the two months following the return, in case of fever, medical advice must be taken quickly to implement any antimalarial treatment as soon as possible.

Chikungunya

Cases have been reported in the states of Johor and Negeri Sembilan. Although this virus is currently more widespread in rural areas, people wishing to travel to these areas are advised to take the necessary precautions. Chikungunya is transmitted through infected mosquitoes. There is currently no preventive treatment or vaccine. Individual prevention is therefore based on means of protection against mosquito bites (see below).

More information on chikungunya on the website of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health.

Zika

This disease is transmitted by mosquito bites; cases of sexual transmission are also reported. Symptoms of the disease are generally mild and similar to those seen with dengue or chikungunya. However, the occurrence of serious complications (microcephaly in newborns; neurological complications) has been confirmed. It is recommended that everyone respect the measures to prevent mosquito bites, consult a doctor in the event of a fever occurring during the trip or in the weeks following their return to France and consult the following information before departure, in particular for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant:

Learn more:

General preventive measures to protect against mosquitoes
  • Wear covering, loose, light, light-coloured clothing impregnated with insecticide textile treatment (effective for two months and resistant to washing).
  • Use skin repellents: see the recommendations of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health (PDF – 78.3 kb) and the Institut Pasteur (PDF – 1.21 Mo) on this subject.
  • Protect your home (mosquito nets, electric diffusers, coils, air conditioning, etc.).
  • Destroy potential mosquito breeding sites (receptacles of standing water such as saucers under flowerpots, gutters, tires, etc.).

For more information, consult the recommendations of the National Public Health Agency.

Other diseases

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease present throughout the world and transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated environments (bathing water, for example) and through the urine of infected animals. Contamination most often occurs at the level of a wound or weakened skin. In humans, the disease is often mild, but sometimes fatal. After incubation, the symptoms are varied, ranging from flu-like syndrome to a generalized form with renal and hepatic involvement. In case of suspicion, a doctor should be consulted promptly. Prevention is based on general hygiene measures (avoid swimming in contaminated water and wash your hands regularly).

More information on the Ministry of Solidarity and Health brochure (PDF – 6.32 MB)

Pollution Fog (“ haze “)

Severe air pollution caused by burning on the Indonesian island of Sumatra can affect the south-west of Peninsular Malaysia, and in particular the capital region, from June to October.

In recent years, Malaysia has experienced very high levels of pollution. Thresholds considered very unhealthy were repeatedly reached, and schools had to be closed. Air traffic is sometimes disrupted by this pollution.

When such pollution occurs, it is advisable to hydrate as much as possible and reduce all outdoor activities. In the event of crossing the alert level, people suffering from respiratory diseases, asthma, heart problems or conjunctivitis, children, pregnant women and the elderly are invited to keep the doors and windows of their home and only to go out if necessary, wearing a filtering mask.

Sensitive people should seek advice from their doctor before any non-essential travel to Malaysia during the risk period.

Air pollution indices can be viewed on the Malaysian Department of Environment website.

Avian Flu

It is an animal viral disease exceptionally transmissible to humans. It is recommended :

  • avoid contact with birds and live or dead uncooked poultry;
  • avoid farms, animal markets and zoos, as well as contact with animal droppings;
  • to wash your hands regularly with soapy water or with hydro-alcoholic washing solutions;
  • avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked food products, especially meat and eggs.

Consult a doctor promptly in the event of contact with sick animals, especially birds or poultry, or in the event of compatible symptoms, in particular fever, cough or body aches.

Rage

The risk of rabies has been confirmed in Malaysia, particularly in the state of Sarawak. Rabies is a viral disease that can be accidentally transmitted to humans by animals (dogs, cats, foxes, monkeys, bats, etc.) infected with the virus, by biting or licking mucous membranes. Mortality is very high in the absence of rapid medical care: there is no curative treatment for declared rabies. It is therefore recommended not to pet the animals, or even not to approach them. Preventive vaccination (pre-exposure) before a stay in an exposed area may be recommended and requires prior medical consultation and assessment.

More information about Institut Pasteur.

Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease linked to Salmonella. The symptoms associate in particular a high fever and digestive disorders and impose an urgent medical consultation, serious complications being possible. Precautions for use are recommended (see “A few simple rules” below).

Food poisoning

Several cases of severe food poisoning (sometimes fatal) have been reported following consumption of horseshoe crab. This crustacean is also called “Moluccan crab”, “horseshoe crab” or “blue blood crab” (” horseshoe crab ” in English). It is recommended not to consume it.

Infection with the HIV virus – STI

Regarding sexually transmitted infections, it is recommended to take all the usual precautions and avoid risky behavior.

A few simple rules

  • Stay away from dead animals, animals and their droppings.
  • Do not approach stray animals and dogs (risk of bites and rabies); do not pet the animals encountered.
  • Ensure road safety (wearing a seat belt, wearing a two-wheeler helmet).
  • Never take drugs bought on the street.

Protect yourself from digestive or contact contamination:

  • Wash your hands regularly with hydro-alcoholic washing solutions, especially before and after meals or going to the toilet.
  • Ensure the quality of food, and especially its proper cooking.
  • Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked food (fish, meat, poultry, milk); avoid raw vegetables, shellfish, reheated dishes and cold buffets.
  • Peel fruits and vegetables or wash them carefully (in clean water).
  • Only drink water and encapsulated drinks, or water made drinkable (filtration, boiling or, failing that, disinfectant).
  • Avoid ice cubes and ice cream, as well as the consumption of fresh fruit juices, raw vegetables and unpeeled fruits. Only consume pasteurized or boiled milk.
For more information :

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