Health Risks in India



In India, health risks exist but none so pronounced as to cause alarm to expats or other travellers. Still, it is best to be aware and take necessary precautions including taking out private healthcare in India for added protection.

Among the diseases expats may have to guard themselves against are malaria, specifically in the cities of Delhi and Bombay, Hepatitis A, which can be obtained from infected food or water, and Hepatitis B which may be transmitted through an exchange of body fluids or unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. Typhoid fever could pose a risk for those who will be living in rural villages as well as Japanese encephalitis for those who plan to frequent or stay in farming areas. Both may be contracted through infected water or food. People who will be exposed to the outdoors such as animal workers, researchers and environmentalists should also guard themselves against rabies.    

In some locations, the sun itself is prone to cause skin damage and increase the risk for melanoma. Be sure to pack sunscreen and avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day. Staying hydrated can also help to stay healthy. 

Different risks may be reported from time to time and this makes it best for expats to consult a travel medicine specialist in order to be updated on the facts and advised on specific preventive measures. The ideal time to visit the travel doctor is four to six weeks prior to departure for India so necessary vaccinations may be done and given time to take effect. A travel doctor may also advise expats to confirm the extent of coverage of international healthcare in the major hospitals before purchasing a plan.