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Traveler's Health in Tibet

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for entry into Tibet. However, we highly recommend that you update your routine vaccines and consult with your physician for any kinds of preventive measures or to discuss your existing illness and know if it is completely safe for you to travel.If you have heart and lung issues, you surely need your doctor's clearance.

Some recommended vaccinations are: Chickenpox (Varicella), Diphtheria & Tetanus Vaccinations, Hepatitis A & B, Influenza, Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), Pneumonia A vaccine, Polio, Rabies, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Yellow Fever.

Altitude Sickness, also called Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the most common concern for all travelers to Tibet. When you arrive in Lhasa which is at the altitude of 12,000 ft-everyone is likely to experience the symptoms of altitude sickness. Tibet's atmosphere contains 30 or 40 percent less oxygen than a normal atmosphere. The symptoms include headache, lightheadedness, nausea, loss of appetite, breathlessness, dehydration etc.The remedy is simple- acclimate, rest and keep yourself hydrated all the time and eat and drink cautiously to avoid any kind of illness. For the first couple of days, just take it easy and do not overly exert yourself and you should be fine. If the symptoms persist or worsens, you need to immediately see the doctor. 

Most travelers use diamox pills (Acetazolamide) to prevent altitude sickness. Please, consult your physician if you can take this medicine. Also, hypothermia and heat exhaustion can be another risk due to weather condition.  If you are under any kind of prescribed medicines, you are recommended to take a good supply of medicine as it may not be easily available in Tibet. For your safety, you are advised to keep your distance from wild animals, such as wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes in remote Tibet areas.

Major towns in Tibet do have hospitals. They provide all basic medical facilities and treatments. Western pharmaceutical treatment and Tibetan and Chinese herbal remedies are also accessible. You also have the facility of oxygen intake and basic medicines from local clinics and pharmacies. Since Tibet is a remote location, in case of serious case, you may need to be evacuated by air. So, make sure you have travel health insurance and your policy covers all including evacuation.

If you are not leading an active life, it's highly recommended that you start some physical exercises about two or three months before the trip.

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