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).
Lebanon is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located between Israel and Syria on the Mediterranean Sea, its climate features mild to cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The mountains experience heavy winter snows.
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, 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)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, including 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.
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 ongoing violence and military conflict, Australia (DFAT) advises avoiding travel to the southern suburbs of Beirut; areas within 5 km (3.1 mi) of the border with Syria; areas south of the Litani River (near the border with Israel); Palestine refugee camps; northern areas of the country between Tripoli and Arsal, Baalbek-Hermel Governate; northern Bekaa Valley; and advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to the rest of the country. U.S. (DOS), U.K. (FCO), and Canada (GAC) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, including Beirut. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in the southern suburbs of Beirut (except along the main highway to Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport), northern Bekaa Valley, and areas bordering Syria, Israel, and Turkey. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking) and petty crime exists throughout the country.
Kidnappings by criminal groups occur throughout the country. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners).
Scams involving pirated merchandise have been reported.
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.
Armed conflict occurs in areas bordering Israel and Syria (including as far south as Tripoli).
A dangerous security environment may exist, and armed groups may be present in refugee settlements and in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
Landmines and other unexploded ordnance are present in areas south of the Litani River and areas bordering Syria.
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.
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.
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.
Sandstorms and dust storms frequently occur.
Seismic activity frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Lebanon
- United States: [+961] 4-543600; lb.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+961] 4-726700; www.lebanon.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+961] 01-960800; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-beirut
- Australia: [+961] 1-960600; www.lebanon.embassy.gov.au
Lebanon's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.lebanonembassyus.org
- In Canada: www.lebanonembassy.ca
- In the U.K.: london.mfa.gov.lb
- In Australia: www.lebanemb.org.au
HIV and hepatitis testing are required to obtain a work or residence visa. Travelers, including short-term travelers, may be detained or deported after arrival if found to be positive for HIV or hepatitis.