Serbia Travel Health Insurance – Country Review
Learn more about Serbia Travel Health Insurance with an overview from the CDC and the US State Department. Here we cover Vaccines, Medicines and Insurance.
At AARDY we strongly recommend that everyone who is traveling either within the United States or internationally has sufficient travel insurance to protect themselves, their family and their holiday investment. What’s even more preferable is to never need to call on your insurance policy. The following advice should help you make the most of your trip to Serbia.
Serbia Travel Health – CDC
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.
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.
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 A outbreaks occur throughout the world and sometimes in countries with a low risk for hepatitis A (including the US). You can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Serbia, so talk to your doctor to see if the hepatitis A vaccine is right for you.
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.
Although rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Serbia, it is not a major risk to most travelers. CDC recommends this vaccine only for these groups:
- Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for animal bites (such as adventure travel and caving).
- People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
- People who are taking long trips or moving to remote areas in Serbia
- 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.
Stay Healthy and Safe
Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Serbia, 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
- 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
- Tap or well water
- Ice made with tap or well water
- Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
- Unpasteurized milk
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
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).
- Consider using permethrin-treated clothing and gear if spending a lot of time outside. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
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.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD
- 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 properly.
What can I do to avoid bed bugs?
For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites.
Stay safe outdoors
If your travel plans in Serbia 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.
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.
- 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 Serbia’s 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.
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 Serbia 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 Serbia, 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.
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 Serbia 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.
For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel.
Serbia Travel Health – The US State Department
Serbia occupies a key strategic juncture in the Balkans at the social, political, and geographic crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe. The United States seeks to strengthen its relationship with Serbia by deepening cooperation based on mutual interest and respect. The United States wants Serbia to be part of a stable Balkan region and we pursue this by supporting Serbia’s integration into European institutions, helping normalize Serbia’s relations with Kosovo, strengthening the rule of law, partnering on security issues, and promoting economic growth.
Serbia opened EU accession negotiations in January 2014 and has embraced the goal of EU membership as a top priority. The United States continues to support Serbia’s efforts to make progress in EU accession talks. Serbia’s accession is conditioned on significant rule of law and economic reforms, as well as the normalization of relations with Kosovo via the EU-facilitated Dialogue, launched in 2011 with strong U.S. backing. The United States will continue to support the efforts of Serbia and Kosovo to fully implement Dialogue agreements made thus far and to help move both sides toward full normalization.
U.S. Assistance to Serbia
The U.S. Government's assistance goals in Serbia include supporting Serbia’s EU accession path and strengthening Serbia’s capacity to counter terrorism and transnational crime, combat corruption, and participate in international peacekeeping missions. U.S.-funded programs increase the institutional capacity of key government bodies, strengthen the rule of law, promote the development of civil society, increase media independence, and create conditions for inclusive economic growth.
Our Ohio National Guard-led bilateral State Partnership Program, launched in 2006, is the cornerstone of our security relationship with Serbia and has provided an effective platform for developing vibrant and close bilateral ties between our armed forces. Serbia has also been an active participant in NATO's Partnership for Peace program for more than a decade, and the United States has been a firm and consistent supporter of Serbia's efforts to strengthen its relationship with NATO. We value, in particular, Serbia's contributions to multilateral efforts aimed at defeating ISIS and combatting international terrorism. The United States and Serbia have also partnered for more than ten years through our International Military Education and Training (IMET) program to allow Serbian and American officers and non-commissioned officers to train together and learn from each other in our most prestigious military schools.
The United States values Serbia's contributions to global peacekeeping efforts. Under our Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program, which has provided security assistance to Serbia for defense modernization and training since 2011, the United States has delivered a total of 40 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs/Humvees) to support Serbia’s participation in UN operations around the world. Serbia has been a Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) partner since 2011, benefiting from U.S. security assistance aimed at enhancing Belgrade's capability to train and deploy peacekeeping forces. Since becoming a GPOI partner, Serbia has increased its contributions to UN Peacekeeping Operations more than tenfold.
Bilateral Economic Relations
As part of its EU accession process and the three-year agreement it signed with the International Monetary Fund in 2015, Serbia has undertaken economic reforms and has seen meaningful short-term improvements. Significant fiscal consolidation and efforts to combat the informal economy delivered GDP growth of 2.7 % in 2016, with falling unemployment, stable inflation, and a lower-than-expected budget deficit. In 2016, Serbia was the world’s number one destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) as a percentage of GDP. Serbia has implemented reforms to its labor law, construction permitting, and inspection oversight, all with U.S. assistance.
We have seen an uptick in interest from potential U.S. investors in Serbia in line with these positive trends. However, Serbia’s growth has slightly slowed during 2017, highlighting the continued vulnerability of the Serbian economy. To deliver the additional jobs and growth its citizens demand and to catch up with EU standards, Serbia must move forward with economic reforms to strengthen its private sector, reform its public administration, resolve state-owned enterprises, and improve the rule of law.
Among the leading U.S. investors in Serbia are NCR, KKR, Philip Morris, Ball Packaging, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cooper Tire and Van Drunen Farms. Many other leading U.S. firms, from a broad variety of industrial and service sectors, have a significant presence in Serbia. There has been increased interest from U.S. information technology (IT) companies in Serbia, with specific emphasis on opportunities in e-government, cloud computing, digitization, systems integration and IT security. Microsoft signed a $34 million contract to provide software to Serbian government offices in 2013, and Cisco signed a Country Digitization Agreement with Serbia in 2017.
Serbia's Membership in International Organizations
Serbia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. Serbia is also a member of the Council of Europe.
Serbia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2233 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-332-0333).