Health Requirements for Tibet

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For travel to Tibet it is essential that you are up to date with vaccinations for Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. However as we are not trained to give specific health advice, we strongly recommend that you visit your GP surgery or a travel clinic for professional advice in advance of your travel date. Some immunisations need to be given well in advance of departure, so seek advice at least 2 months before you depart. For further information MASTA operate travel clinics across the UK and provide a free travel health brief on their website masta-travel-health.com, or get in touch with The Hospital for Tropical Diseases via their website www.thehtd.org.

Please note if you are arriving from an area in the Yellow Fever zone (currently only South American & African countries) you will be required to show that you have been inoculated against the disease.

Altitude sickness
Tibet is a high-altitude country, and great care must be taken to avoid the ill-effects of being at altitude, including Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), a potentially life-threatening condition. Anyone with a history of heart or respiratory problems, or Anaemia, must consult their doctor before considering a visit. We recommend that all those travelling to Tibet consult their GP before travelling.

The most common effects of altitude sickness are the following:
• A feeling of breathlessness
• Headaches
• Mild or acute nausea
• Loss of appetite
• Difficulty sleeping
• Loss of co-ordination

Altitude affects everybody differently, regardless of age, gender or physical fitness, and everybody is likely to experience some level of at least one or two of the symptoms outlined above. It could take anything from a few hours to a couple of days for your body to adjust to the elevation.

To reduce the effects drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and get plenty of rest in the first 48 hours of being at altitude. Do not attempt any strenuous activity on the first day, or this could worsen the effects and make it harder for you to acclimatise. If your symptoms become severe, or persist for more than a few days, seek assistance and descend to a lower altitude as quickly as possible. Oxygen bottles are available in most of the larger hotels.

There are prescription tablets available called Acetazolamide (Diamox), which is a weak diuretic that increases ventilation of the lungs. These tablets are usually taken for one or two days before highest altitude is reached, and continued for a further 3 days. For competitively priced Acetazolamide, the online pharmacy travelpharm.com provides consultations., however we strongly recommend that you speak to your GP first, before buying this sort of medicine.