Most ask about this and almost every person I know did NOT get a vaccine including myself. They all at one point went to their general practitioner and confirmed there was no vaccine needed especially if you’re up to date. I’m not a certified medical specialist. This is what I’ve seen and heard. It doesn’t hurt to check with your doctor or the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website on any health information specific to Indonesia
Meds to Bring
If you have the opportunity, bring an antibody for Bali belly (traveler’s diarrhea) and medication to treat an ear infection.
For Bali belly, it’s been hit or miss as far as who gets it. However, most seem to get Bali belly after they’ve made their way to Ubud as it did for me. I can’t pinpoint exactly how or where in Ubud it happened just as others. Personally, I think it has more to do with the inconsistent sanitation standards. Know that Bali belly can last as long as 1-2 weeks. With an antibody, it can cut that down to 2-3 days. It just doesn’t hurt to have this in your back pocket.
As for ear infections, oddly, I know more people who had them here than any point in my lifetime. There have been one-offs here and there when we’ve hit the pool. One weekend, I was away at a massive villa with others and it was then that a couple or so had infections after that. Note that this was NOT the usual beach club commercial pool. This was a villa pool we used throughout the weekend. I usually keep my head dry, so my chances are low. However, I did get fully in once and I was fine.
The risk of Dengue fever here in Bali is low, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Many worry about it and rightfully so. No one wants to be put out during their trip and go through the stages of treatment. I only know of two people since being here who had it: one got it from another Asian country while the other got it here, supposedly. Both were treated. I’ve heard of others getting it too, but the number is minimal. You have more chances of getting Bali belly than Dengue.
Here is what I know about Dengue. It is more prevalent in highly populated places like Denpasar. They bite primarily in the day, but also at night. There are fewer cases during the drier seasons anywhere. Know though, people like myself and other expats live here all year round during both seasons.
Does this mean you shouldn’t come to Bali? No (well, unless you’re pregnant. That’s my two cents). Here is just like any other tropical place. Don’t get wrapped up in the number of cases or the “What ifs”.
Other Common Health Hazard in Bali
For more information on other common health hazards in Bali, check this article out. It has a comprehensive informative list that includes typhoid, rabies, malaria, and Bali belly.
First Aid Kit
Of all the times I’ve traveled internationally, I seem to need my first aid kit for one thing or another. You would be surprised how band-aids are hard to come by when you really need it or alcohol pads. There are quite a few travel first aid kit options for the world traveler.
Do you bring one? It’s Murphy’s Law. Think of it this way – if you bring it, you won’t need it. If you don’t, you’ll need it. That seemed to be the running theme with raincoats too.
One more thing, if you purchased a one-way flight, plan out your prescription medication plan for the long term.
As I learn of more common illnesses I see, I will update this post.
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