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).
Egypt is a developing nation in the lower half of the world's economies. Located in the northeastern corner of Africa, its climate is desert, with hot, dry summers and moderate winters. Desert climate in portions of this country may aggravate respiratory conditions. Sandstorms in the spring can make walking and driving hazardous. The Khamsin sandstorm can significantly increase air temperature within 2 hours and cause winds up to 150 km (90 mi) an hour.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Although yellow fever does not occur in Egypt, an official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 9 months coming from countries with risk of YF transmission and from Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia. Note: This applies to airport layovers longer than 12 hours in these countries.
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, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, typhoid fever, or a one time polio booster if you haven't previously received one for travel. 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)(2017) Very limited P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria risk may exist from June through October in El Faiyûm governorate (no indigenous cases reported since 1998).
- Recommended prevention: none
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Travelers should exercise maximum food and water precautions on Nile River cruise boats. 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.
Other Food-Borne Illnesses
Precautions to prevent brucellosis may be needed.
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.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to terrorism, military conflict, and other ongoing security concerns, Canada (GAC) advises avoiding travel to Sinai Peninsula; Siwa Oasis; Western, Black, and White deserts; and Suez and Ismailia governates, within 50 km (31 mi) of the border with Libya. Canada also advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to the rest of the country, except Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada resort areas or the area along the upper Nile from the governates of Luxor to Aswan. U.S. (DOS), U.K. (FCO), and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by domestic and transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; places of worship; and transportation systems.
In 2017, attacks targeted places of worship and areas frequented by tourists.
High risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in the Sinai Peninsula. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), including those working for oil companies.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, sexual assault [including verbal and physical harassment], and carjacking) and petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in cities and areas frequented by tourists.
Scams charging exorbitant fees for services have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities (particularly after Friday prayers), 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.
A dangerous security environment exists in the Sinai Peninsula, Western Desert, and border areas.
Landmines and other unexploded ordnance are present in desert and coastal areas (not including resort areas), especially along the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria, along the western coast of the Gulf of Suez, and in the Sinai Peninsula.
Military presence and restricted areas exist in border areas.
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.
Basic safety standards for adventure activities (including hot air ballooning and recreational off-roading) may not be in place. Travelers should only use reputable adventure-sport operators for activities and equipment rentals.
Desert excursions should only be undertaken with organized groups and experienced guides. Participants should inform someone not on the tour of their itinerary and anticipated return time. An adequate supply of food and water for extended unforeseen delays is essential.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
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.
Public buses, public vans, and rail services do not meet international safety standards (due to unsafe vehicles, poor maintenance, and hazardous driving).
Taxis are unsafe. Use a privately hired driver.
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.
Sandstorms and dust storms frequently occur.
Seismic activity frequently occurs, especially in Cairo.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Egypt
- United States: [+20] 2-2797-3300; eg.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+20] 2-2461-2200; international.gc.ca/world-monde/egypt-egypte
- United Kingdom: [+20] 2-2791-6000; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-cairo
- Australia: [+20] 2-2770-6600; www.egypt.embassy.gov.au
Egypt's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.egyptembassy.net
- In Canada: www.mfa.gov.eg
- In the U.K.: [+44] 020-7499-3304
- In Australia: www.egypt.org.au
HIV testing is required to obtain a work or residence visa.