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Preventative Health Hassles

Heading to HCMC, Nha Trang, and Hanoi for an exploratory trip. I'm considering spending a few years in those cities, maybe teaching English, but mainly just to enjoy my retirement.

I'm wondering about what measures expats take to guard their health. I understand about being careful with the water and food, but what other safeguards are generally taken in those three cites?

Do "cautious" expats live on malaria meds?

Do they apply DEET spray and lotion 24/7?

If one sticks to these cities, is a chance of mosquito-transferred disease fairly remote?

Any feedback would be helpful. Thanks to all.

Well.. No and no.. been in hanoi close to five years and still haven't manage to catch malaria... ;)

1- Don't know about other people, but I've never had a nodding acquaintance with malaria meds.  More than likely never will be.
2- Same as #1, but replace "malaria meds" with "Deet spray and lotion".
3- Very much so.

Nha Trang is malaria free, but it DOES have a rather large number of dengue fever cases each year. I definitely never want to get it again! So I had mosquito screens installed installed over every window and door in the house, and my wife almost daily sprayed the whole house with insect killer when we left to go shopping.


Use DEET, wear long shirts and pants in the evening. NOTE: mosquitoes love to bite your legs under the table in restaurants in Nha Trang, so ask the staff to light insect coils (nhang muỗi). Dengue fever mozzies bite 24 hours a day, not just at night.

Thank you one and all.

I've gotten a range of answers on this subject, here and elsewhere. My conclusion? Skip the preventative malaria meds in the cities, but use DEET to combat Dengue.

I would suggest you to get vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid fever.
Some people I know, including me, also got vaccination against rabies and japanese encephalitis.


Do "cautious" expats live on malaria meds? As far as I know, no.
Do they apply DEET spray and lotion 24/7? As far as I know, no. In areas with lots of mosquitos I tried to wear long trousers and spray on open areas (e.g. face, hands,...), especially in the evening.
If one sticks to these cities, is a chance of mosquito-transferred disease fairly remote? Yes (Saigon and Hanoi), Nha Trang I dont know, never been there.

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