All you need to do is exercise a few basic precautions and you should have no worries about your health in Phuket. No particular vaccinations or inoculations are officially required before you enter the country, unless you do so from an area where an infection is rife.
Check your route with your local consulate or embassy in case there are necessary inoculations. Ask to be protected against hepatitis A and B, tetanus, malaria and typhoid. Once in Thailand, don't drink tap water.
Venereal diseases — notably AIDS — are prevalent so take care if engaging in casual liaisons. The official position on rabies is that there's no rabies in Phuket. However, you're advised — if bitten by any animal — to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you take anti-malarial tablets before travelling, it's still possible to contract malaria, so if you feel feverish when you return home contact your doctor immediately, mentioning where you've been in Thailand. One other significant mosquito-born disease is dengue fever. Dengue symptoms appear more quickly than malaria; if you experience flu-like symptoms while still on holiday, seek medical advice.
You're more likely to be exposed to malaria or dengue in remoter areas; always take sensible precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Afternoon and evening are the heaviest mosquito hours.
The biggest source of hospital patients in Phuket has nothing to do with diseases. Motorcycle accidents keep both casualty departments and intensive care units busy. Think hard before you hire and drive a motorcycle.
Medical services in Phuket are generally of a high standard, with two international-standard hospitals and a range of public and semi-private hospitals and clinics. See useful telephone numbers for contact details. Although there are medical facilities in the surrounding areas, if you're taken ill you're advised to get yourself to a hospital in Phuket.
Not everyone who finds themselves in hospital in Phuket is a victim of accident or disease, though. Over recent years, hospitals here have been doing a roaring trade in cosmetic and plastic surgery - breast implants, nose and chin jobs and even 'gender reassignment' operations. It seems combining some surgery with a week or so relaxing in a tropical resort, while the more obvious and uncomfortable after-effects wear off, is becoming increasingly popular.
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