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).
Samoa (also called Western Samoa) is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located approximately midway between Hawaii and Australia and consisting of a group of islands, its climate is tropical.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Although yellow fever does not occur in Samoa, an official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 1 year coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. 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, rabies, or typhoid fever. 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 seafood poisoning may be needed.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
Additional concerns include marine hazards.
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.
No intrinsic risk of attack by terrorist groups exists, but unforeseen attacks are possible.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery and sexual assault) exists throughout the country, especially in Apia (particularly downtown near bars and restaurants) and remote areas.
High risk of petty crime exists throughout the country. Theft of valuables from unattended vehicles and accommodations is common.
Hazardous water conditions (including currents, tides, and undertows) may occur, especially in coastal lagoons, including at beaches popular with tourists. Heed posted warnings and avoid beaches that are not patrolled. Do not swim alone or after dark, and do not walk on any beach after dark.
Basic safety standards for recreational water activities (including scuba diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing, rafting, kayaking, and tubing) may not be in place. 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.
Other Safety Threats
Stray dogs are a problem in Samoa. Travelers should not approach or feed these dogs, as they can become aggressive in the presence of food or if they feel threatened.
Samoa has numerous blowholes (lava tubes open to the sea where wave action produces often spectacular geysers). These blowholes are popular tourist attractions. The footing around the mouths of most blowholes is very slippery. To avoid being swept in, travelers should not approach too closely and should never stand between the opening of the blowhole and the sea.
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 left-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.
The cyclone season is from November through April. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic and volcanic activity frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Samoa
- United States: [+685] 21-436; ws.usembassy.gov
- Canada: Canada does not have an embassy or consulate in Samoa.
- United Kingdom: [+685] 27-123
- Australia: [+685] 23411; samoa.embassy.gov.au
Samoa's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: Samoa does not have an embassy or consulate in the U.S.
- In Canada: Samoa does not have an embassy or consulate in Canada.
- In the U.K.: [+44] 1303-260-541
- In Australia: www.samoacgs.com.au
HIV testing is required to obtain a work or residence visa.