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).
Latvia is an industrialized nation in the top 25% of the world's economies. Located in northern Europe along the Baltic Sea (north of Lithuania and south of Estonia), the climate is classified as humid temperate (no dry season) in the west and humid cold (no dry season) in the east.
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
Lyme disease may pose a risk. Personal protective measures are important.
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.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery and sexual assault) and petty crime exists in Riga, especially in Old Town, Central Train Station, Central Bus Station, and Central Market, and in and around parks at night. Negligible risk exists throughout the rest of the country.
Scams involving a wide range of financial activities, ATMs, credit cards, and charging 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 may infrequently occur and have the potential to turn violent without warning.
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.
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.
Winter storms frequently occur.
Seasonal flooding frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Latvia
- United States: [+371] 6710-7000; lv.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+371] 6781-3945; international.gc.ca/world-monde/latvia-lettonie
- United Kingdom: [+371] 6777-4700; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-riga
- Australia: [+371] 67-320-509
Latvia's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.mfa.gov.lv/en/usa
- In Canada: www.mfa.gov.lv/en/ottawa
- In the U.K.: www.mfa.gov.lv/en/london
- In Australia: [+61] 0413-001-995
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.