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| Updated on Jul 28, 2016

Health Information for Travelers to Turkey

Traveling to Turkey? Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when planning your trip.

Vaccines: I remember when I went to Istanbul I didn’t get any vaccines and was perfectly fine. Actually, most people don’t get vaccinated before traveling to Turkey but travel agencies will recommend you to be immune to Hepatitis A&B, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio and Typhus. Before traveling check with your doctor because you have probably received shots against most of these diseases in the past.

Eat and Drink Healthy: When our body is used to eating certain foods and drinking the same water on a daily basis when we change something in our diet our body immediately notices this. When we travel we usually change everything in our diet because we are obligated to eat what there is in that country. The best way to try to alter our organisms the least possibly way is by: 1- Eating well-cooked foods 2- Eating Pasteurized Dairy Products. Fresh dairy products may have bacteria. 3- Peeling fruits and vegetables.
4- Avoid food from street vendors or food that is served at room temperature. 5- Always drink water that is well sealed.

Health and Medical Care While Traveling: -Insurance Plan: Before you travel to Turkey, it is best to check what your insurance plan covers as in what medical services it covers, E.R., hospitals, etc. -Vaccines: As mentioned before check that you have all routine vaccines before you travel. These are: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertusis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and polio vaccine. Additionally, get the Hepatitis A and the Typhoid vaccines since there is a risk of contracting these diseases through contaminated food or water. -Malaria: Malaria is not very present in Turkey the risk is low. Nonetheless, if you are traveling to certain areas of Turkey where you may be exposed to mosquitos you should take the necessary precautions such as wearing repellent, long sleeves and long pants or even take anti-malarial medicine depending on your exposure to mosquitos.

Prevent Bug Bites: Why is it important to prevent bug bites? We don’t think a bug bite could ruin our trip but a simple bug bite could spread a number of diseases. I recommend:

  1. To use a repellent that has 20% or more DEET.
  2. To sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  3. If traveling outside the city and sleeping outdoors use a bed net and try to cover skin by wearing long sleeves and long pants.

Medicines: I bet you didn’t know that most medicines that usually require prescriptions in Europe or the US are available in any Istanbul pharmacy. This can save you from a possible first visit to the doctor while visiting Turkey. You can just go to any pharmacy and ask for the medicine you need.

To stay on the safe side, I always recommend you ask your doctor about taking prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs with you on the trip. Additionally, I would write down the generic/chemical name of your medicine just in case the pharmacist doesn’t speak English very well, you save yourself any inconveniences.  


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