Travel Health Information For Indonesia

Comprising a total of 18,110 islands 6,000 of which are inhabited, Indonesia represents the largest archipelago in the world, from Sabang in Aceh to Merauke in Papua which is made up of thousands of large and small islands which are connected by the strait and sea. According to data from the Ministry of Interior of the Republic Indonesia, in 2010 the nation was made up of a total of 18,110 islands. 7,870 of which have names, while the remainder do not.

Approximately 240 million people live in Indonesia ranking it the 4th most populous country in the world, it also has the world's largest Muslim population. Indonesia is well and truly on course to overtake the United States to become the third largest population in the world before 2044.

Indonesia markets itself as 'Wonderful Indonesia' with a range of natural beauty including tropical forests and beautiful beaches. For a country of it's size there is no one unified Indonesian culture, however the Hindu culture of the former Majapahit empire does provide the framework for many of the cultural traditions found across the central islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Lombok. Modern Indonesian popular culture is largely dominated by the largest ethnic group, the Javanese.


Indonesia features various tribes living in peace and harmony alongside each other. Each tribe has its own unique characteristics which contributes to the region's cultural diversity including a distinctive culinary richness in each territory. Among the many beaches, there are several which have been voted by travelers as the most beautiful beaches in the world. Among them, Senggigi Beach in Lombok, Kuta Beach in Bali, Bunaken Beach in Manado, just to name a few. Due to its natural beauty, Indonesia has become a popular tourist destination for international travelers from around the world.

The following information provides the traveler with a list of known exposure risks for those considering traveling to Indonesia. Always consult with your Doctor before traveling overseas.

When heading away to any destination, older travelers should take the time to undertake and pre-prepare for their journey away from home. Different climates and conditions can sometimes pose a risk to travelers of any age, with many unknowingly placing themselves at risk of exposure to illness or disease.

Note: The following material has been provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. No person should act, fail to act, disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking professional medical advice on the basis of this material. The Travelnanna website, nor its representatives does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any of this information and will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury directly or indirectly caused by this material or its use.



This very common infectious disease can now be prevented through immunization. Many people miss the disease in childhood only to have a significant illness as an adult.

Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Fever, Zika Virus

Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Fever and Zika Virus are viral illnesses borne by mosquitoes. The risk is present in many countries in the tropics. There is no vaccine to prevent these illnesses (Dengue fever vaccine is currently available in a few countries). Please discuss your travel plans with a doctor who can assess your risk based on your itinerary.

Hepatitis A

This is a viral disease of the liver which is transmitted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

Hepatitis B

This is a viral disease of the liver that is transmitted via blood, blood products or bodily fluids and is vaccine preventable.


Travelers go through crowded venues like airports, or on commuter transport. Influenza is the most common vaccine to prevent travel related illness. Vaccination against influenza is generally highly recommended.

Japanese Encephalitis

JE is a mosquito borne viral disease prevalent in rural areas of Asia that can lead to serious brain infection in humans. Risk is greatest during the monsoon months however the risk is generally very low for most travelers. Vaccines are available if the exposure risk is deemed to be high.


Malaria is transmitted by a night biting mosquito. The decision to use or not use, anti-malarial drugs should be made after consultation with a travel health doctor, taking into consideration the relative malaria risk of areas on the traveler’s itinerary as well as any potential side effects.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Vaccination is recommended for travelers born after 1966 who cannot confirm that they have received two doses of measles containing vaccine. Since 1990, this may have been the combination vaccine MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).

Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease is a very serious bacterial infection which is often life-threatening. It may manifest as meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain)and/or septicaemia (blood poisoning).


All travelers should be up to date with vaccination against polio. Poliomyelitis is a viral infection that can lead to paralysis and sometimes death. For those who have completed childhood immunisation, a single booster dose of polio vaccine as an adult will generally provide long-term protection.


Rabies is a deadly viral infection of the brain. Risk increases with extended travel and the likelihood of animal contact.


This disease is caused by a free swimming parasite released by fresh water snails. The disease can develop after swimming or bathing in water from rivers, streams and lakes.

Tetanus, Pertussis, Diphtheria

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released by common dust or soil bacteria which enters the body through a wound. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection of the throat and less frequently, the skin. Pertussis or whooping cough (known as the 100 day cough in Chinese) is a highly infectious respiratory infection responsible for over 300,000 deaths annually, mainly in children. These three illnesses are preventable and covered in the same vaccine.

Traveler’s Diarrhoea

Up to 40% of tourists may develop three or more loose bowel motions a day within the first week of travel. A variety of germs can be responsible for this infection and a travelers may choose to pack products such as Gastro-Stop to remedy the problem quickly.


Typhoid fever is caused by bacteria found in contaminated food and water. It is endemic in the developing world and vaccination is recommended for travelers to areas where environmental sanitation and personal hygiene may be poor.

Yellow Fever

This viral illness is spread by mosquitoes in and around forest areas and has a mortality rate of up to 50%. A vaccine is available for those over nine months of age. An international certificate of vaccination is often required for travelers returning to their home country from destinations where yellow fever is known to be present.


Sandra Hawkins

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