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Before You Go: Traveler Healthcare in Taiwan

Dengue Fever Warning

Taiwan has an above-satisfactory healthcare system, though quality can vary in rural regions. Medical providers in Taiwan typically speak at lesta some English.

Drinking Water: You should avoid drinking or brushing your teeth with tap water, or ordering drinks with ice in Taiwan. You can find bottled water in shops and markets in populated areas.

Chinese Medicine: Traditional folk healers, medicine and therapies are widespread in Taiwan. Some travelers find Chinese treatments, such as acupuncture, very effective. Be aware, however, that some treatments can be harmful, especially if you are taking prescription medications that causes a drug interaction.

Air Pollution: Air pollution can be a serious issue in Taiwan. The pollution is worse in urban regions with a lot of traffic, and near coal-burning factories along the west coast. Air pollution can make you feel nauseous, and lead to higher risks of cancer.

You should take care to limit your exposure to poor quality air. Avoid staying outside for prolonged periods during dry weather, during the afternoon, during rush-hour traffic. You can also do as the locals do and pack some N95 masks to wear for the worst parts of the day.

Dengue Fever: Dengue fever is a risk in Taiwan, especially in the tropical southern and central regions.

Take precautions against bites by packing mosquito netting, full-coverage clothing and footwear, as well as mosquito repellent that contains at least 35% DEET. At the time of posting, there’s no commercially available vaccination against Dengue fever. Dengue fever is not contagious.

Dengue fever is a virus caused by mosquito bites, and is more usually more prevalent in cities with high population densities. Symptoms of Dengue fever include headaches, fever, a skin rash, vomiting, and joint and muscle pain.

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

You should consult with your doctor before you go in case you would benefit from the vaccine.

Tick-borne Diseases: Illnesses caused by tick bites are a risk in forested areas. Symptoms include a rash at the bite area, fever, headache and fatigue.

If you’re planning on spending time in forested areas, you should wear long pants tucked into boots, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat and an insect repellent containing DEET. Check for ticks after spending time in forests, and remove any ticks right away with tweezers.

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