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).
Russia is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located primarily in northern Asia, it stretches east from the Baltic Sea in Europe to the Pacific Ocean. Its climate varies according to region. Northern Russia has harsh weather, while southeastern Russia experiences a much milder climate and stable temperatures throughout the year.
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, Japanese encephalitis, 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)(2016) Very limited malaria risk due exclusively to P. vivax may exist in areas under influence of intense migration from southern countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
- 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
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.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to terrorism, military conflict, and other ongoing security concerns, Canada (GAC) advises avoiding travel to the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetiya, Dagestan, Karachayevo-Cherkesiya, Kabardino-Balkariya (including the Mount Elbrus area), and North Ossetia; parts of Stavropol' Kray Republic; and all areas of Rostovskaya Oblast' that border Ukraine. U.S. (DOS), U.K. (FCO), and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings.
Risk of attack by domestic and/or transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
In 2017, isolated attacks occurred in St. Petersburg.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery) exists throughout the country.
High risk of petty crime exists in Moscow and St. Petersburg (including on public transportation), other cities, and areas frequented by tourists.
Kidnappings by criminal groups occur in the Northern Caucasus Region. Targets may include foreigners, journalists, and aid workers.
Scams involving ATMs, credit cards, a wide range of financial activities, the use of distraction techniques to commit robbery, corrupt officials, and false identity (such as criminals posing as police officers) 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 may occur.
Extensive areas of Russia, especially in Siberia and the Russian Far East, are designated closed areas. Travelers require government permission to enter.
Mount Elbrus has become an increasingly popular destination with adventure travelers wishing to climb the highest mountain in Europe; however, the security situation in the regions surrounding the mountain remains highly unstable.
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 < 10 in most high-income countries. 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.
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 frequently occur. Avalanches may occur. Seasonal flooding occurs.
Extreme cold (which can lead to cold-related injury) occurs in northern areas.
Forest fires occur during the dry season.
Seismic and volcanic activity frequently occur, especially in North Caucasian Federal District and Kamchatka Kray.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Russia
- United States: [+7] 495-728-5000; ru.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+7] 495-925-6000; www.russia.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+7] 495-956-7200; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-moscow
- Australia: [+7] 495-956-6070; www.russia.embassy.gov.au
Russia's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: russianembassy.org
- In Canada: canada.mid.ru/en_US/web/canada-en
- In the U.K.: www.rusemb.org.uk
- In Australia: www.australia.mid.ru
HIV testing is 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.