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Before You Go: Traveler Healthcare in Singapore

Smoke Haze Warning

Singapore‘s medical facilities are typically above adequate. Be prepared to pay in cash prior to treatment, even in emergency situations. Check that you have a travel insurance policy that covers medical evacuation in case you may need specialized or prolonged treatment.

Air Pollution: Air pollution like smoke haze is a significant problem in Singapore from June to October. Many regions are also frequently “fogged” or sprayed with chemicals to kill mosquitoes.

You should take care to limit your exposure to poor quality air if you’re visiting Singapore during these months, or immediately after a chemical fogging.

Zika Virus: If you‘ll be visiting a region at risk for the Zika virus, you should limit your risk of Zika virus-causing mosquito bites by packing mosquito netting, full-coverage clothing and footwear, as well as mosquito repellent that contains at least 35% DEET. You should also practice safe sex if having sex with a new partner.

The Zika virus is a mild form of Dengue fever, and though the Zika virus doesn’t typically cause any symptoms, it can cause birth defects. At the time of posting, there is no commercially available vaccination for the Zika virus. The Zika virus is caused by mosquito bites and can be spread through sex.

Dengue Fever & Chikungunya: Mosquito-borne diseases are a particular risk during the wet months from November to March and July to September. Take precautions against bites by packing mosquito netting, full-coverage clothing and footwear, as well as mosquito repellent that contains at least 35% DEET.

Dengue fever and chikungunya are viral infections. Symptoms of Dengue fever include headaches, fever, a skin rash, vomiting, and joint and muscle pain.

Common symptoms of chikungunya include fever and joint pain, as well as headaches, muscle pain and a rash.

At the time of posting, there’s no commercially available vaccination against either Dengue fever or chikungunya. Neither Dengue fever nor chikungunya are contagious.

Japanese Encephalitis: Mosquito-borne diseases are a particular risk during the wet months from November to March and July to September. Your risk of contracting Japanese Encephalitis is typically low, but you should consult with your doctor before you go in case you would benefit from the vaccine.

Japanese Encephalitis is a virus transmitted by mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, headache and vomiting.

If you’re bringing prescription medications:
  1. Check to see if there are restrictions on your medication in your destination country, especially if the medication contains narcotics, amphetamines or other often controlled substances
  2. Bring medications in their original, labeled container. Never carry loose medication
  3. Include your dated prescription signed by your doctor, certifying the condition the medications are prescribed for, dosages and their generic drug names. Ensure the name on the prescription, container and your passport all match.
  4. If you need syringes or needles, your doctor includes their need on the prescription.
  5. Before you leave, find out how you can legally access medications in the case of loss, theft or emergency – even OTC medication may require documentation from your doctor. Never have controlled substances mailed to you
  6. If legal, consider bring a second container of any essential medications, in case one is lost or stolen. Pack the primary bottle in your carry on, and the second one in another location. Personal-use quantity restrictions may limit you to 30-or 90-day supplies
Travel Health Insurance Checklist:
  1. Investigate travel health insurance options
  2. Be sure the plan includes any pre-existing conditions you have, and be sure to declare them before you go
  3. See if you need an “Extreme Sports” add-on policy if you’re planning activities like scuba diving or spelunking
  4. Find out the payment or reimbursement process and 24-hour emergency coverage contact