Diseases and conditions in Singapore

health in Singapore

Once an island covered with tropical forest, Singapore is today a world-class city in the middle of South East Asia, where state-of-the-art buildings mingle with tropical gardens. Tourists and expatriates appreciate this exotic atmosphere in Singapore but you have to know that it comes with specific diseases and conditions, to which you should pay attention.

Tropical diseases in Singapore

As in many South East Asian countries, dengue fever is quite common in Singapore. This disease is spread by mosquito bites and manifests itself through strong headaches, fever, muscles ache, exhaustion and skin redness. Since no vaccine exists against dengue fever, we advise you to avoid areas with stagnant water (swamps and other wetlands) as well as parks and forests during the day or in the evening, especially after heavy rain. Make sure that you have a good mosquito repellent and do your best to prevent mosquito bites. 
There are also Chikungunya cases in Singapore, once again spread by mosquitos during the hottest season of the year. Symptoms are similar to those of dengue fever. 
Concerning avian influenza, the outbreak today is over. However local authorities recommend people to avoid, as much as possible, any contact with poultry as well as eating raw or barely cooked meat and advise to regularly wash hands. 

If you have fever or any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact immediately a physician in Singapore

Chronic diseases

In addition to tropical diseases in Singapore, it is more likely that you will suffer from those common conditions: angina, bronchitis, cold or nasopharyngitis, because the weather in Singapore is very hot and wet whereas public transports, malls and offices are air-conditioned. You may also suffer from headaches when you arrive in Singapore. Visit a physician if it the symptoms persist. 
Besides, sportsmen and sportswomen should be careful during their outdoor activities: avoid the hottest hours of the day, wear a cap and drink enough water. Heat makes working out even more intense and increases tachycardia. 

We advise you to bring some of your common over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. If you have a condition that requires a special treatment, make sure your medicines are approved by the Singaporean customs.

What about children ?

The Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is quite prevalent in Singapore. It comes from different viruses but mostly from the Enterovirus 71 and affects children under 10 years old. The disease manifests itself through small blisters on the hands, feet and around the mouth. Schools and kindergarten usually close during breakouts in order to prevent infection. It is also essential to wash hands several times a day and disinfect all the potentially infected surfaces. 

Vaccination

Vaccination against yellow fever is the only mandatory vaccine provided that you have been in Africa within the past 6 months. However we recommend you to get immunized against the following diseases: tetanus, hepatitis B and rabies. 

If you want to know more about health in Singapore :

Discover our articles in the section « Healthcare abroad »

Date of publication Jan 28 2016