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Health insurance is recommended. Hospitals are found in all the main cities and can deal with all major needs. Private hospitals, some managed and staffed by British-trained doctors and nurses, provide a high standard of medical care and include Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur and Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital, Sunway Medical center, Pantai Medical center, Subang Medical Center, Selangor. Smaller towns and rural areas have private clinics. In an emergency, dial 999 or 994.
1: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from infected areas.
2: Following WHO guidelines issued in 1973, a cholera vaccination certificate is not a condition of entry to Malaysia, although it may be required if travelling on to a cholera-infected country. See the Health appendix.
3: Malaria risk exists only in certain isolated inland regions. Urban and coastal areas are safe, with the exception being Sabah where there is a risk, predominantly in the malignant falciparum form, throughout the year. The falciparum strain is reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine and resistant to sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine.
4: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Some milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised, but make sure that it is reconstituted with pure water. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Pork, salad and mayonnaise may carry increased risk. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Note: It is generally considered safe to drink water straight from the tap; however, as no authority is absolutely clear on this matter the above advice is included as it reflects the necessity for caution for visitors who are unused to the Malaysian way of life.
Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. For more information, consult the Health appendix.
Hepatitis A and E occur and hepatitis B is hyperendemic. Epidemics of dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis can occur in both urban and rural areas.
Immunisation against tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and E is recommended.