Metro Manila · Infectious Tropical Diseases and Vaccinations

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Bacterial diarrhea, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, dengue fever, and leptospirosis are at the top of the list of infectious tropical diseases in the Philippines. For a safe trip it is important to know the risk, the symptoms, and how to get vaccines in the Philippines.

The degree of risk to an individual traveler can vary considerably based on which part of the country one is going to, the duration of that visit, the accommodation, the time of year, and the kinds of activities one will be participating in.

It is important to note that those who are planning to travel to the Philippines need to consult with a travel medicine physician to assess the risks of tropical diseases in the country and to get vaccines for these diseases. However, if you are already in the Philippines and would like to get vaccinations for certain diseases, you can contact the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) or take a look at our list of hospitals in the capital.

Waterborne Diseases

Waterborne diseases are quite common in the Philippine Islands. Hepatitis A is one example. The viral disease that affects liver function can spread through the consumption of food or drink contaminated with feces. In areas where sanitation is poor, Hepatitis A is likely to spread.

Bacterial diseases contracted from water contaminated with fecal matter are also present in the Philippine locale. Such diseases include typhoid fever. Leptospirosis, another bacterial disease, is caused by animal urine. Leptospirosis commonly spreads during the rainy season especially if the streets are flooded. The disease’s symptoms include severe headaches, high fever, diarrhea, jaundice, and vomiting. While fatalities caused by the disease are relatively low, it can result to liver failure and can damage the kidneys if left untreated. Meningitis and respiratory distress can also happen.

Vectorborne Diseases

Infected mosquitoes can spread vectorborne diseases such as dengue fever, a tropical disease that unlike many others is often associated with urban areas. This ailment often spreads to the populace during the rainy season or when there is stagnant water. dengue fever’s symptoms include fever, severe headaches, and hemorrhage that can lead to death.

Vaccines

Apart from vaccinations for the diseases mentioned above, Megacitizens should get their routine vaccines recommended for both locals and travelers. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), poliovirus, varicella, seasonal influenza, and tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis. For dengue fever there is no vaccination but several vaccine candidates are currently being evaluated in clinical studies.
Other jabs such as those for Hepa A and B are readily available in the country. You can avail one at any government or private hospital. These vaccinations are also available in major malls where some clinics are located. The cost of a Hepa A vaccination is around Php 2000. To get more information on the costs of the vaccination, you can call the hospital closest to where you are located.

For vaccinations for infectious diseases mentioned in the article, it is best to contact your general practitioner for more information. If you have had a vaccine anywhere in the Philippines, tell us about your experience by posting a comment below.