Sangat Wildlife: Tropical Geko

Travel Precautions: Medical

Many first-time visitors to this island nation often harbor fears of a wide variety of debilitating – or even deadly – diseases which may befall them during their visit. In the Philippines such fears of disease-borne calamity are generally unwarranted.

However, as the Philippines does cover many widely diverse and tropical regions, certain common-sense precautions and pre-arrival vaccinations are always advisable particularly for the following diseases:

Typhoid Fever
As this disease is quite common to tropical Asian regions, a valid pre-emptive vaccination is strongly recommended.

Typhoid Fever is typically contracted from tainted food or water.
Hepatitis B
As Southeast Asia remains the "homeland" of this dreadful malaise, a Hepatitis vaccination is highly recommended. Hepatitis B is transmitted in much the same way as AIDS.
When visiting any under-developed tropical region or country, an updated Tetanus vaccination is always a highly recommended precaution.
While rare, Cholera is most likely to occur during the rainy season months of July through November.

Since opinions vary regarding the value of a Cholera vaccinations, we would recommend consulting with your personal health care provider.
Malaria has never been a concern on Sangat Island or – as far as we know – anywhere else in the Palawan island chain.

In other locations around the Philippines however, contracting Malaria could be a rare possibility.

While a number of vaccines to prevent the onset of Malaria remain in clinical trials, those already infected can be treated by a number of orally-administered antimalarial drugs.
Dengue Fever
This is a serious mosquito-transmitted infection with symptoms that include high fever, a bright-red rash and severe head and muscle pains.

While, at this writing, there is no vaccination or treatment for Dengue, the infection does abate over time and typically without serious medical treatment.

Aside from the above mentioned disease-related concerns, a number of other health related cautions should always be considered when your travels extend to other areas of the Philippines. These cautions include the following:

Street Food
Never eat anything – no matter how cheap or attractive the offerings may appear – from public street vendors or food stalls.

These establishments, frequently operated without governmental regulation or sanitation standards, provide the perfect breeding ground for a wide variety of potentially dangerous bacteria.
Drinking Water
Due to the lack of adequate water treatment/purification facilities, we would recommend against drinking from any public water supply.

Commercially-bottled water, readily available nearly everywhere, is your best source of safe drinking water.
Stay well clear of stray dogs, as the occurrence of rabies in the Philippines is quite common.

In the rare event that you fall victim to a dog bite, virtually all Philippine medical practitioners are familiar with proper rabies treatment.