Diseases and Precautions in the Philippines

After contracting a pretty serious case of Dengue on my last trip into Cebu ive started to do a bit of research and finding the information is more difficult than it should be. So ive collated the information together to make it easier for you to make your own mind up if you need injections, tablets or just take the risk.

First extract comes from :- http://www.traveldoctor.info/trip/.1.113.2.html

Which seems to have the most comprehensive list of things to be looking out for and the medication thats relevant to each case :-

Philippines – Asia

Travelling to Philippines on 1 to 5 months recommend protection against the following infections:
Recommended vaccinations
  • Diphtheria  – 1 day
  • Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)  – 1 week
  • Hepatitis B – 3 – 4 weeks
  • Tetanus – 1 day
  • Typhoid – 1 week
  • Japanese encephalitis – 3 weeks
  • Yellow fever – transit – 10 days
  • Malaria in the Philippines – 7 days
When to start    – 3 – 4 weeks before departure.

Read more about the single vaccinations below. If you need more information, Ask the Doctor

Diphtheria is a serious throat infection, which infects from person-to-person through the air. The vaccination should be less than 10 years old otherwise a booster is needed.

Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)
Infectious hepatitis infects through food and water. Vaccination consists of two injections about 12 months apart, which protects for up to 20 years. The first vaccination protects for 12 months. Gamma globulin consists of purified antibodies from people who have had hepatitis A, and protects for up to 5 months. The vaccination is preferred. The hepatitis A vaccine can be combined with the vaccine against hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B infects through blood, sexual ac-tivities and, in small children, through saliva. The vaccination consists of 2 vaccinations about 4 weeks apart and a third 6 months later. The protection is for at least 10 years. The hepatitis B vaccine can be combined with the vaccine against hepatitis A.

Tetanus is a complication to wounds contaminated by soil. If there has been a vaccination within the past 10 years it is not necessary to give a booster in case of wounds and accidents. Tetanus is usually given in combination with diphtheria. If you are previously vaccinated, the vaccine can be given right up to departure.

Typhoid is the most serious of the Salmonella infections. There are two types of vaccine: 1. Vaccine for injection. 1 vaccination protect up to 3 years. 2. A live vaccine in capsules, which is swallowed. Three capsules are taken 2 days apart and provide protection for a year.

Typhoid is the most serious of the Salmonella infections. There are two types of vaccine: 1. Vaccine for injection. 1 vaccination protect up to 3 years. 2. A live vaccine in capsules, which is swallowed. Three capsules are taken 2 days apart and provide protection for a year.

Japanese encephalitis
Japanese encephalitis is caused by a virus spread by mosquitoes. Vaccination consists of 3 injections with 2 weeks apart and protects for up to 2 years. Vaccination should start 4 weeks before departure. Travelers whose visits are restricted to major urban areas, are at lower risk for acquiring JE and generally should not be advised to receive the vaccine.

Yellow fever – transit
Certain countries require a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate if you arrives (even in transit) from a country where yellow fever is present. If you arrive from a country without yellow fever, there is no requirement for a yellow fever vaccination.

Malaria in the Philippines
Malaria risk is limited to a few areas of the Philippines as shown on the map below. If the traveller goes into these areas. Chloroquine combined with Paludrine are appropriate. Protection against mosquito bites will reduce the risk further.

Malaria map PhilippinesMatt Writing again :- After reading a lot of information in regards to Malaria you start to see that cases are likely to increase because of global warming. Warmer days will be increasing in the Philippines and a reduction in cold or cool days and nights. Which in result mean that mosquitos not only survive longer but also breeding increases and currently with corruption levels in the Philippines i would be a bit concerned. There was an outbreak of Dengue in one of the Provinces where there is currently a dispute being raised to the fact that the local official who manned the operation with his own board to deal with the outbreak and treatment of an area and a lot of the money seems to have disappeared i wonder where??  I wouldnt say the corruption is a growing problem as currently its running at about 90% another 10% and the whole country would stop functioning there is little or no room for extra corruption. Which is the same reason i ask people not to donate to charities that they are unaware where the funding goes as you are only lining officials pockets. I have been in contact with someone previously that was “offered” to run a charity. Where the local politician would get approved by government £10,000 in subsidy. In return he wanted £7,000 back in his own pocket in cash. Leaving the charity with £3,000 is this where you really want your money ending up?



Getting back to the diseases and prevention in the Philippines ill move onto symptoms as it took me several days to realise what i had due to the fact my friends had similar symptoms except for a few differences. But they had a virus a bit less severe than mine. So ill start with the Dengue as its something i know about. :-

  • High fever – up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Severe headache
  • Retro-orbital pain – pain behind the eye
  • Severe joint pains
  • Muscle pains
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • General weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Children get non-typical symptoms
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Prostration
  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Enlarge lymph nodes
  • Maculopapular rash

There are other symptoms and your probably best to read up on them as soon as you develop any of them. Its a bit confusing as the first couple of days seem to onset like a flu type virus infection the same with Malaria. But in either case head to the doctors its cheap enough in the Philippines. Just get it checked out. I know i didnt but im well aware there is no cure for dengue just waiting it out. There is the local Milk-Milk plant which i swear by as it seemed to heal me and its what the locals use but “officially” its still in trials.

For more dengue info goto :-

For the NHS (British National Health Service) Information :-

For more info on any diseases or infections PLEASE browse the above sites. Im neither a doctor or specialist in any medical field i only speak from what ive had and what ive found online. IF you do get sick goto the doctors its going to cost you less than £3.00 but it could save your life!