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New Zealand - Health Risks, Inoculations, Vaccinations and Health Certificates

While New Zealand is a relatively healthy country there are a number of health risks that you need to take into consideration. It is important to consult a doctor before you travel as it will also be necessary to take into consideration your own health needs when determining which vaccinations may be needed.

Routine vaccinations should be kept up to date. These include influenza, MMR, polio, chickenpox, diphtheria and tetanus. In addition to these those who are travelling to mainland New Zealand should have a vaccination for hepatitis B. There are varying health risks for those who are travelling to some of the Pacific Islands of New Zealand and extra vaccinations that may be required include Hepatitis A and Typhoid.

There are several diseases which are in existence in New Zealand which could pose a risk to humans. Insect bites can pass on diseases such as Ross River virus and Murray Valley encephalitis. All precautions against insect bites should be taken in order to minimise the risk.

Some medications may not be available in New Zealand so it is wise to take with you enough medication for several weeks until you can consult a doctor and find a suitable alternative. If your medication has not yet been approved for use in New Zealand you will need a letter from your healthcare professional to state why you need to have it.

The water in New Zealand is considered to be safe to drink but if you are in remote areas it may be advisable to boil any water that does not come from a mains system.

Sunburn is a risk in many parts of New Zealand as the ozone layer is thinner there, so you will find that your skin burns much more quickly than it would in other parts of the world. It is recommended to wear hats, sun block and sunglasses if you are outdoors when the sun is strong.

There have been studies which show that asthma sufferers could be at a higher risk of attack in New Zealand so it is important to have with you inhalers and avoid situations which may trigger an attack.

The percentage of those living with HIV/AIDS is much lower than in the UK but precautions are recommended to avoid exposing yourself to risk.

Useful Resources

NHS Direct (UK)
Tel: 0845 46 47

UK Foreign Office

Ministry of Health New Zealand

Read more about this country

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