South Korea (Republic of Korea) Current Advisories and Health Risks

Tetanus Diphtheria and Polio (Td -P ) should be up to date and given every 10 yrs.


Hepatitis A is acquired from contaminated food or water and can make people very sick. The vaccine gives protection for 12 months. A second dose, which must be given no sooner than 6 months, will boost this protection to at least 10-20 yrs, possibly lifetime. Hepatitis A vaccine, is mildly recommended for all travellers to Korea as Korea is a very Westernized country but may be considered for longer stays and if planning excursions to neighboring countries..


Typhoid vaccine is recommended for all travellers, with the exception of short-term visitors who restrict their meals to major restaurant and hotels. Because the typhoid vaccines are only 60-70% effective, safe food and drink selection remains important.


Hepatitis B carrier rate in the general populations is estimated at 6 to 9%. Hepatitis B is spread it by infected blood, contaminated needles, and unprotected sex (although even condoms do not reduce the risk to zero), IV drugs, and blood transfusions. People who will be staying longer than 3 months in countries where Hepatitis B is very high are also recommended to have this vaccine. Hepatitis B should be given in 2 full doses one month apart with a booster dose after 6 months. All the different brands of Hepatitis A and B are equally effective. Some people prefer the pre mixed vaccine of Twinrix but if they use this vaccine they must receive 2 full doses to be adequately protected against either Hep A or B for one year. A third shot taken 6 months later completes the series.


Trave l ler's Diarrhea is diarrhea caused during travel by exposure to bacteria, viruses and parasites, although it usually refers to the development of extreme symptoms following a bacterial infection. We recommend of course that people be careful with what they eat but travel l er's diarrhea also happens to those who are careful since they may be infected through another's careless preparation of food. Pepto-Bismol and Imodium may be taken for mild symptoms. We prescribe antibiotics to take at the early stages of trave l ler's diarrhea. We aim to prevent the loss of fluids and body salts, which will make one very sick in a tropical environment. Travelers having diarrhea starting after their trip may have an intestinal parasite. If you suspect that you may have a parasite check with our clinic. The vaccine Dukoral protects for about 20% of travelers' diarrhea and lasts 3 months.


Malaria Low risk, but cases of vivax malaria have increased annually in the area bordering the DMZ . Malaria prophylaxis is not currently recommended for travellers, but the travellers should be aware of the possibility of infection. All travellers should take measures to prevent evening and the night mosquito bites at the DMZ.


Korean Hemorrhagic Fever Risk of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome present year-round, countrywide. Elevated risk is associated with dusty, dry conditions and peak rodent populations. The virus (Hantaavirus) that causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome is transmitted by infected rodent secretions. Most cases occur from October through December, associated with peak human activity in rodent-infested areas during harvest.


Japanese Encephalitis Low risk. There is no risk in Seoul. Cases of JE have been reported in the southwest during the peak transmission season, June through October. Vaccination is recommended for travellers who will be staying in rural-agricultural endemic areas longer than 2 to 3weeks during the peak transmission season. All travellers to rural areas should take measures to prevent mosquito bites.


Dengue fever No apparent risk.


Canadian Embassy 10 th Floor, Kolong Building, 45 Mugyo-Dong, Chung-Gu, Seoul : Tel: 82-2-3455-6000 Fax: 82-2-3455-6123 Website:


Hospitals/Doctors Medical facilities are of high quality. The U.S Embassy in Seoul and the U.S Consulate in Pusan have lists of hospitals and medical specialists who speak English

*International clinic (In Asan Medical Centre), Seoul. Tel: 2-224-5001or 5002 The largest medical centre in South Korea, with more than 220 medical and surgical specialists and many of them U. S and Canadian board-certified


*International clinic (In Samsung Medical Centre), Seoul Tel: 2-3410-0200 With English speaking staffs.


*AEA International Korea Ltd. Provides 24hours emergency service for foreigners, acting as a link between patient and Korean hospitals for a fee: Tel: 02-790-7561


*International SOS: International SOS Ltd., 5 th Floor, Shindong Building, 726-164 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-210, Seoul Korea: Alarm centre Tel: 72-2-3140-1700; Fax: 72-790-6785.


Last Updated Feb 7 2006