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Before You Go: Traveler Healthcare in Turkey

Water-& Food-Borne Disease Warning

Turkey‘s medical facilities range from above adequate at private hospitals and clinics in the major cities to very limited through the public system and in rural regions. 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.

Malaria: Malaria is common in Turkey from May to October, particularly in the southeastern regions, as well as in Amikova and Çukurova Plain.

If you’re visiting Turkey between May and October, be sure to consult with a doctor about taking anti-malaria tablets before you leave. You should also pack mosquito netting, full-coverage clothing and footwear, as well as mosquito repellent that contains at least 35% DEET. You may also want to stay indoors during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

Malaria is a parasitic infection caused by mosquito bites. Symptoms of malaria include fever, vomiting, headaches and fatigue. Malaria is not contagious.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic Fever: Illnesses caused by tick bites, such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, 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.

Sand Fly Fever: Sand Fly Fever, or leishmaniasis, is prevalent in Jordan. Sand Fly Fever is a parasitic infection transmitted by sand fly bites. Symptoms include sores and a fever.

You can help to protect yourself by staying in well-screened or air conditioned rooms from dusk until dawn, when the sand flies are most active. You can also wear long pants, shirts and socks, and use an insect repellent containing DEET.

Avian Flu: Avian Influenza, also called the Bird Flu, is a virus caught from contact with birds or bird droppings. Symptoms usually include flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, muscle pain and shortness of breath.

You can limit your risk of illness by getting the seasonal flu vaccine and by avoiding birds in higher-risk regions. Avian Flu is typically not spread between people.

Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial infection that is spread through the air. Symptoms of tuberculosis include coughing, fatigue, chest pain, fever, chills, loss of appetite and night sweats. If you’ll be in an area with tuberculosis, consult your doctor about getting a tuberculosis vaccination before you go.

Typhoid: Typhoid is a bacterial illness you can get from contaminated food and beverages. Symptoms include a high fever, abdominal pain, weakness, headaches, constipation and a skin rash.

Be sure to consult with a doctor about considering a typhoid vaccination before you leave.

Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a virus you can get from contaminated food and beverages. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and joint pain.

Hepatitis A vaccinations are routinely given as part of the childhood immunization regime, but you should consult with your doctor to make sure you are properly protected before you go.

Measles: Measles is a highly contagious viral infection. Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes, followed by spots in the mouth and a skin rash.

Measles vaccinations are routinely given as part of the childhood immunization regime, but you should consult with your doctor to make sure you are properly protected before you go.

Rabies: Rabies is a virus you can get if you’re bitten, scratched or even licked by an infected animal. If you will be in contact with animals, or in remote regions, consult with your doctor about getting a rabies vaccination before you go.

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