The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Bulgaria is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located in southeastern Europe (south of Romania and north of Turkey), the climate is classified as humid temperate (no dry season) in the north and dry summer in the south.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or tick-borne encephalitis. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)No statement given.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Moderate risk exists throughout the country, with minimal risk in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout Europe. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses, public places and events, including those frequented by tourists, and transportation systems.
Low risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home robbery, and gang-related violence) exists throughout the country. Organized criminal groups are active in casinos and nightclubs.
High risk of petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in areas frequented by tourists, including Sunny Beach, on or near public transportation, and in crowded markets and shopping districts.
Theft of valuables from unattended vehicles and accommodations is common.
Scams involving ATMs, credit cards, the use of distraction techniques to commit robbery (including puncturing tires and posing as a helpful passerby), false befriending, false identity (such as criminals posing as government officials), and exorbitant fees for products have been reported.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 7 to 12 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Avoid public buses and rail service due to safety and security concerns, including very high risk of pick-pocketing.
Rail services do not meet international safety standards (due to unsafe vehicles).
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
Winter storms and severe rain storms frequently occur. Avalanches, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Forest fires occur during the dry season.
Seismic activity frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Bulgaria
- United States: [+359] 2-937-5100; bg.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+359] 2-969-9710; www.romania.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+359] 2-933-9222; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-sofia
- Australia: [+359] 2-946-1334
Bulgaria's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.bulgaria-embassy.org
- In Canada: www.mfa.bg/embassies/canada
- In the U.K.: bulgarianembassy-london.org
- In Australia: www.mfa.bg/embassies/australia
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.