Every year, millions of foreigners apply for an Egypt visa to visit the ancient land of the Pharaohs. International travelers are attracted by some of the world’s best monuments and archaeological sites as well as the pristine waters and colorful corals of the Red Sea.
Whether you plan on seeing the Pyramids or spending a relaxing holiday in a 5-star resort by the sea, planning your Egyptian trip in advance is paramount. This includes booking plane tickets, obtaining your online visa for Egypt online (if eligible) and talking with a health practitioner ahead of time to get the right vaccinations and advice for Egypt.
This article includes important health information for Egypt, including:
- What vaccines are required
- How to eat and drink safely in Egypt
- How to avoid bug bites.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations for Egypt?
Yes, there are required and recommended vaccines for Egypt. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests the following vaccinations for Egypt:
- Hepatitis A: recommended for most travelers
- Hepatitis B: since this is spread via blood and body fluids, the vaccine is especially recommended to travelers who plan on using needles (for examples, for tattoos) and having sexual intercourse while in Egypt
- Typhoid: these vaccines last 2 years (injections) and 5 years (oral vaccine) so it’s important that you check whether you had it done recently
- Yellow fever: yellow fever is spread via mosquito bite in affected areas. Depending on the region you’re visiting and the time of the year you’re traveling to Egypt, you may or may not need this vaccine
- Rabies: Egypt is considered at high risk of rabies due to the great number of dogs and other animals roaming the streets. The vaccine is strongly recommended to those who plan to spend a long time in Egyptian cities and/ or plan to work and come in contact with animals
- Polio: Polio is treated as a routine vaccine for most travel itineraries as it’s mandatory if you’ve visited an affected area.
The following routine vaccinations may also require a booster before you leave for Egypt:
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (TDP)
Is There Malaria in Egypt?
The last case of locally-transmitted malaria in Egypt occurred in 2014 in a village in the Aswan Governorate. Even then, it had been over 20 years since the previous case. The Egyptian Ministry of Health immediately took strong malaria control measures in the area and right now, it can be said that Egypt has eliminated malaria. There is no need for travelers to take anti-malaria tablets before and during their holiday.
However, it’s still important to protect yourself from insects as malaria is not the only disease that can be spread with their bite. The following are easy steps you can take to avoid bites:
- Using insect repellant
- Wearing light and protective clothing
- Sleeping in either an air-conditioned room or under an insecticide-treated bed net.
How to Avoid Food Poisoning in Egypt
Many travelers can get an upset stomach just because of the stress of the journey and being eating safe but unfamiliar Egyptian food. The hot temperature can also affect the way your body adjusts to a new environment.
However, there are some measures you can take to minimize the risk of food poisoning while in Egypt:
- Wash your hands thoroughly as often as possible, especially before eating and after using the restroom
- Avoid raw and undercooked food especially meat, chicken, and fish
- Avoid unpasteurized milk and cheese
- Avoid fruit and vegetables that you can’t peel unless you’ve washed them yourself
- Avoid food that’s been left uncovered for a long time
- Don’t share food, drinks, and cutlery with others
Can I Drink the Water in Egypt?
Tap water quality and water treatment methods vary from region to region in Egypt and can be affected by a multitude of factors such as the age and material of the pipes, agricultural run-offs and chemical pollutants, human and animal waste, etc.
The best thing you can do is avoid drinking from the tap unless you’re completely confident in the quality of the water. Rather, choose bottled water and drinks. Hot tea, infusions and other drinks where the water is boiled are safe. Refusing ice in your drinks and brushing your teeth with bottled water are also good ways to prevent illness.
If you don’t have access to bottled drinks, make sure to boil the water before consumption or use antibacterial tablets designed for this purpose.