Tips and advice to avoid getting sick in Bali

Bali is a hugely popular tourist destination, due to the spectacular scenery and year round sunshine. However, one thing which can potentially spoil a holiday here is illness. As such, it's worth taking a few precautions, so as to make sure that you have a truly enjoyable trip. You should consult with your doctor at least a month before you intend to leave, as you may need to get some of the following vaccinations; tetanus, typhoid as well as hepatitis A and B.

Insect and wildlife-related health issues
Dengue fever is a type of virus which can be transmitted by a specific breed of mosquitoes called Aedes that tend to bite most often during the mornings and the afternoons. Symptoms include a rash, vomiting, nausea, headaches, joint pains and muscle aches, as well as a high temperature. Malaria can also be transmitted by a type of mosquito called Anopheles that usually bite people after sunset. Luckily, Malaria is not very common in Bali   however there is still a small risk that those who are bitten by this type of mosquito will contract the disease. As such, make sure to bring along mosquito nets which you can use around your hotel bed and windows, as well as insect repellent. It's also advisable to talk to your doctor a few weeks before you travel, to discuss whether or not you should take anti-malaria medication.

Digestive and stomach problems such as diarrhoea and vomiting can be caused by food poisoning, or the sudden changes to one's diet. You should not drink the tap water in Bali; however, you can easily purchase bottled water here and it is usually very cheap. Use cooled, boiled water to brush your teeth too and try to avoid swallowing any water when showering. However, ice in tourist-centric areas is usually safe to consume.

To avoid getting traveller's diarrhoea, try not to consume drinks or food sold by any street vendors, particularly if you are not confident about how hygienic the stall is. If you have to purchase your food from a street vendor, look for one which locals and other tourists are using. Stay away from seafood or any raw meat and make sure that you are hydrated at all times. It's a good idea to bring along some electrolyte tablets or drinks to ensure that your mineral levels remain balanced.

Whilst most cases of traveller's diarrhoea clear up within a day or two, there is another type of stomach bug which may be mistaken for it, called 'Bali Belly.' This is more severe and is a kind of gastroenteritis, which is usually the result of a parasitic or bacterial infection. Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. This illness can take several weeks to clear up. If you suspect that you or your travel companions are infected with this, consult a doctor straight away, as the earlier the infection is caught, the quicker it will be resolved.