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How to keep healthy when travelling in China?

Page last updated 17 April 2022

The standard of healthcare facilities in China varies from place to place. Iit is important you are prepared before heading off on your trip.  

Before travelling: 

  • Register your trip with Smart Traveller 
  • Ensure you’re up-to-date with your routine vaccinations 
  • Make sure you have enough of your regular prescription medicines
  • Take out travel insurance to cover you and your family for medical and other costs resulting from unexpected incidents and accidents
  • Put together a travel kit with paracetamol and aspirin, diarrhoeal medicine, oral rehydration salts, antiseptic lotion or ointment, adhesive bandages and other wound dressings, insect repellent, sunscreen, latex gloves, thermometer, motion sickness medicine, and water purification tablets.

See your doctor at least a month before departure to discuss your travel health requirements.

During travel:

  • The tap water in China is not safe to drink. 
  • Drink bottled or filtered water only and check the plastic seal on bottled water is intact (some stores have been known to sell boiled water in recycled bottles). Avoid adding ice to your drinks, and check that salad and fruit have been washed with filtered water prior to consumption. 
  • Traveller's diarrhoea is common in China. To protect yourself, practice good handwashing hygiene and eating and drinking safety.
  • Avoid mosquito bites, as dengue fever is quite common in the south of the China. There is no vaccination for dengue fever, but you can protect yourself with insect repellent, wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs, and staying in accommodation that has fly nets or screens provided.
  • Avoid animal bites.  Rabies is a deadly disease and considered a risk in China.  It is spread by the bite, lick or scratch of an infected animal, such as a dog or monkey.  Vaccination for rabies are available - your doctor can advise whether vaccinations are required for your trip.
  • Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis B and AIDS.


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Sources & Citations

7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traveler’s Health, Chapter 10 – China. Available at: [accessed 14 February 2022].

12. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Country Health Advice – China. Food & Water Safety: Overview. Available at: [accessed 14 February 2022].

13. Australian Government. Smart Traveller – Infectious Diseases. Available at: [accessed 8 February 2022].

MAT-AU-2200216  Date of preparation March 2022