Health Risks in Hong Kong



Expats are worry free about healthcare in Hong Kong, but unavoidable factors will lead to the existence of a few health risks in the country, including seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza.

However, with the right knowledge about these diseases and the right international health insurance plan, an expat should have little to worry about.

Seasonal illness

Seasonal influenza occurs every year, mainly from January to March and July to August. It usually takes a week for a person with a good immune system to recover. During this time of the year, people should be very careful and take precautionary measures such as getting vaccinations for the disease as well as practising good personal hygiene Consulting a doctor is still the best way to be informed about handling these risks on a practical basis.

Avian flu

Avian flu in Hong Kong is caused mainly by migratory birds which settle there for a period. One may get the avian flu after having direct contact with any of these birds or their waste. Although there are no serious cases of avian flu infections in humans, the disease should never be taken for granted as it can lead to death. The best precautionary measure against avian flu is avoiding all contact with poultry and wild birds when an alert is up.


Once every 10 to 50 years an influenza pandemic occurs in Hong Kong, mainly because of an influenza virus genetically mutating into another type of virus. This type of disease is very dangerous and causes high mortality in Hong Kong. Avoiding crowded places and practising basic hygiene will keep expats safe from this illness.

Whether one has a state-funded or private health insurance in Hong Kong, it pays to practice precautionary measures as recommended by medical experts.