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Burma Travel Health Insurance - Country Review

Learn more about Burma Travel Health Insurance with an overview from the CDC and the US State Department. Here we cover Vaccines, Medicines and Insurance.

At AARDY we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following advice should help you make the most of your trip to Burma.

Note: The military government changed the country’s name to "Myanmar" in 1989. The United States government continues to use the name “Burma” as do we in this article.

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Burma Travel Health – CDC

All travelers

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel.

Vaccines and Medicines

Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.

Routine vaccines

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Most travelers

Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting.

Hepatitis A

CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Burma, regardless of where you are eating or staying.


You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Burma. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Some travelers

Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

Hepatitis B

You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.

Japanese Encephalitis

You may need this vaccine if your trip will last more than a month, depending on where you are going in Burma and what time of year you are traveling. You should also consider this vaccine if you plan to visit rural areas in Burma or will be spending a lot of time outdoors, even for trips shorter than a month. Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans. See more in-depth information on Japanese Encephalitis in Burma


You will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria. See more detailed information about malaria in Burma.


Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Burma, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites (such as adventure travel and caving).
  • People who will be working with or around bats (such as wildlife professionals and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to Burma
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.

Note: Zika is a risk in Burma. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Therefore, pregnant women should not travel to Burma. Partners of pregnant women and couples planning pregnancy should know the possible risks to pregnancy and take preventative steps (more information)

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in Burma. The government of Burma requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US. If you are traveling from a country other than the US, check this list to see if you may be required to get the yellow fever vaccine: : Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission.

For more information on recommendations and requirements, see yellow fever recommendations and requirements for Burma. Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans. Note: Yellow fever vaccine availability in the United States is currently limited. If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance. Find the clinic nearest you. Note: Zika is a risk in Burma. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Therefore, pregnant women should not travel to Burma. Partners of pregnant women and couples planning pregnancy should know the possible risks to pregnancy and take preventative steps (more information)

Stay Health and Safe

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Burma, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and Drink Safely

Unclean food and water can cause travelers' diarrhea and other diseases. Reduce your risk by sticking to safe food and water habits.


  • Food that is cooked and served hot
  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
  • Pasteurized dairy products

Don't Eat

  • Food served at room temperature
  • Food from street vendors
  • Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
  • Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish
  • Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • ”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)


  • Bottled water that is sealed
  • Water that has been disinfected
  • Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Hot coffee or tea
  • Pasteurized milk

Don’t Drink

  • Tap or well water
  • Ice made with tap or well water
  • Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
  • Unpasteurized milk

Take Medicine

Talk with your doctor about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs with you on your trip in case you get sick.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Burma. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites. What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST MOSQUITOES ONLY: Products with one of the following active ingredients can also help prevent mosquito bites. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.

    • DEET
    • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD
    • IR3535
    • Always use insect repellent as directed.

    What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

    • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
    • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks

    What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

    Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs. For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites.

    Note: Zika is a risk in Burma. For more information, see Zika Travel Information.

    Stay safe outdoors

    If your travel plans in Burma include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

    • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
    • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
    • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
    • Heat-related illness, such as heat stroke, can be deadly. Eat and drink regularly, wear loose and lightweight clothing, and limit physical activity during high temperatures.

      • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
      • Protect yourself from UV radiation: use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
      • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
      • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

      Stay safe around water

      • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
      • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
      • Do not dive into shallow water.
      • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
      • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
      • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

      Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Burma. Avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers.

      Keep away from animals

      Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies. Follow these tips to protect yourself:

      • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
      • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
      • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
      • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
      • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

      All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

      • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
      • Go to a doctor right away.
      • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

      Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

      Reduce your exposure to germs

      Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

      • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
      • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
      • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
      • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
      • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

      Avoid sharing body fluids

      Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen. Protect yourself:

      • Use latex condoms correctly.
      • Do not inject drugs.
      • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
      • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
      • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

      Know how to get medical care while traveling

      Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

      • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
      • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
      • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
      • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call the Burma embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
      • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

      Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website (www.jointcommissioninternational.org).

      In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

      Malaria is a risk in Burma. Fill your malaria prescription before you leave and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

      Select safe transportation

      Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries. In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.


      Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

      • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
      • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
      • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


      Choose a safe vehicle.

      • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
      • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
      • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
      • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
      • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
      • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

      Think about the driver.

      • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
      • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
      • Arrange payment before departing.

      Follow basic safety tips.

      • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
      • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
      • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
      • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Burma may be poor.
      • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
      • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
      • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Burma, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
      • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
      • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.


      • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
      • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
      • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

      Medical Evacuation Insurance

      If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

      Helpful Resources

      Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources. The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

      Maintain personal security

      Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

      Before you leave

      • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
      • Monitor travel warnings and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
      • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
      • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
      • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

      While at your destination(s)

      • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate.
      • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
      • Follow all local laws and social customs.
      • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
      • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
      • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

      Healthy Travel Packing List

      Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Burma for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

      Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

      It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

      After Your Trip

      If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic. Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling. If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

      Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history. For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel.

      Burma Travel Health – The US State Department


      The United States supports a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Burma that respects the human rights of all its people. Burma remains a country in transition to democracy, and faces significant ongoing challenges and human rights issues.

      Partial elections in 2010 led to a peaceful transition from sixty years of authoritarian rule to a quasi-civilian government headed by former general Thein Sein. Under President Thein Sein, the Government of Burma initiated a series of political and economic reforms which resulted in a substantial opening of the long-isolated country. These reforms include the release of many political prisoners and child soldiers, the signing of a cease-fire agreement with eight major non-state ethnic groups, greater enjoyment of freedom of expression, including by the press, and parliamentary by-elections in 2012 in which pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won 43 of the 45 contested seats.

      In historic national elections in 2015, the NLD won a majority of the total seats in the national parliament and in most state and regional parliaments. Despite significant structural and constitutional problems, including the reservation of 25 percent of parliamentary seats for the military; the disfranchisement of groups of people who had voted in previous elections, including the ethnic Rohingya; and the disqualification of candidates based on arbitrary application of citizenship and residency requirements, the 2015 election represented a fundamental step forward in Burma’s democratic transition. The new national parliament sat February 1, 2016, and National League for Democracy member Win Myint was inaugurated as the NLD’s second president on March 30, 2018. The new government has released hundreds of political prisoners in the two years it has been in power, though others remain in jail.

      The United States has employed an engagement strategy that has recognized the positive steps undertaken to date and to incentivize further reform. The guiding principles of this approach have been to support Burma’s political and economic reforms; promote national reconciliation; build government transparency, and accountability and institutions; empower local communities and civil society; promote responsible international engagement; and strengthen respect for and protection of human rights and religious freedom. In 2016, the two countries launched the U.S.-Myanmar Partnership Dialogue, which has expanded bilateral communication and cooperation in political and economic spheres.

      In support of further reform, in 2012 the United States re-established a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in country, supported new grant and lending operations and technical assistance by international financial institutions, and eased economic and investment sanctions against Burma. Since then, senior U.S. government officials have traveled to the country to meet with the Government of Burma, political parties, civil society, human rights activists, religious and ethnic leaders, and youth, demonstrating the United States’ continuing support to Burma in its democratic reform efforts. While the country has made significant progress, major institutional and political challenges remain, including reforming the constitution (which accords the military control of three key security ministries, one of two vice presidential appointments, and control of 25% of parliamentary seats), completing the national reconciliation process with various ethnic groups, strengthening respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly on freedom of expression and assembly, releasing remaining political prisoners, and improving the conditions in Rakhine State, especially those facing members of the Rohingya population.

      Beginning in August 2017, following attacks by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents on security forces, over 700,000 Rohingya fled violence in northern Rakhine State, including violence committed by security forces and vigilantes. In November 2017, the United States determined that this situation constituted ethnic cleansing of Rohingya. In December 2017 the United States imposed targeted sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act on former Burmese Major General Maung Maung Soe for his role in human rights abuses against Rohingya in Rakhine State.

      Other challenges remain. More progress needs to be made to reduce the military’s role in politics, move from cease-fires to political dialogue, and to improve rule of law and government accountability. Sporadic, intense fighting between the Burmese military and ethnic armed groups in Kachin and Shan States and elsewhere has resulted in numerous civilian casualties and internal displacement. The United States continues to emphasize to the Government of Burma the importance of promoting tolerance, diversity, and peaceful co-existence, and for the Burmese military to completely end any military ties with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

      The military government changed the country’s name to "Myanmar" in 1989. The United States government continues to use the name “Burma.” .

      U.S. Assistance to Burma

      The United States has a long-standing commitment to improving the lives of the people of Burma. After the USAID Mission was closed in 1989, the United States continued to deliver emergency humanitarian assistance along the Thailand-Burma border, including through NGO partners for Burmese refugees and asylum seekers in the refugee camps on the border. The United States resumed targeted health programs in 1998. In 2008, U.S. assistance efforts scaled up in response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis. Burma's ongoing reforms led to the re-establishment of the USAID Mission in 2012.

      Carefully integrated with U.S. diplomatic efforts, U.S. development assistance focuses on deepening and sustaining key political and economic reforms, ensuring that the democratic transition benefits everyday people, and mitigating division and conflict. Since 2012, the United States has provided over $500 million to support Burma’s transition, advance the peace process, and improve the lives of millions, including by assisting communities affected by violence and combatting hate speech and communal violence.

      More than 1.1 million people have improved food security, and over 300,000 impoverished farming families have increased their agricultural productivity with better access to technology, markets and new investments. New entrepreneurs are benefiting from the economic reform process, which has increased access to information and communications technology.

      The United States provided almost $300 million in FY2017 and FY2018 to address humanitarian needs in Burma, including among internally displaced persons throughout the country and vulnerable Burmese refugees and asylum seekers in the region. This includes vulnerable communities along the Thailand-Burma border and in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan States, where the United States continues to provide emergency assistance. In addition to USAID, many other U.S. agencies provide assistance and training in Burma, including the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Energy, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury; the U.S. Census Bureau; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

      Bilateral Economic Relations

      In recognition of Burma's political and economic reform progress, the United States has taken concrete steps to accelerate broad-based economic growth and support the political reform process. The United States played an instrumental role in supporting renewed engagement from multilateral development banks, which re-started operations in 2013. In 2016, the United States terminated the national emergency with respect to Burma, which had been in place since 1997. The termination removed a range of economic and financial sanctions, including the designations of individuals and entities listed on the Office of Foreign Assets List pursuant to U.S. sanctions on Burma.

      The U.S. government encourages responsible investment in Burma as part of an overall strategy to encourage economic growth and improve the standard of living for the people of Burma. The United States plays a leading role by enhancing human capacity and promoting global standards throughout Southeast Asia due to the quality of private investment. U.S. companies will continue to play a critical role in supporting broad-based, sustainable development in Burma and are helping the country progress toward a more open, inclusive, and democratic society.

      Burma’s Membership in International Organizations

      Burma became a member of the United Nations in 1948 following independence from the United Kingdom, and a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1997. Burma was the chair of ASEAN for 2014, its first chairmanship in 17 years as an ASEAN member state.

      Burma and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

      Bilateral Representation

      Burma maintain an embassy in the United States at 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel.: (202) 332-3344; fax: (202) 332-4351.

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