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).
Bangladesh is a developing nation classified as lower middle income. Located in southern Asia (east of India and west of Burma), the climate classifications range from humid equatorial (short dry season) to dry summer.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Although yellow fever does not occur in Bangladesh, 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. This also applies to all airport transit stops in risk countries.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, Japanese encephalitis, 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)(2019) Malaria risk exists throughout the year with a peak from May through October, but transmission occurs only in 13 of 64 districts in both rural and urban areas. Risk is high in Chittagong Hill Tract districts (Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachari), Chattogram District, and Cox's Bazaar District. Low risk exists in the districts of Hobigonj, Kurigram, Moulvibazar, Mymensingh, Netrakona, Sherpur, Sunamgonj and Sylhet. Most parts of the country, including Dhaka City, have no risk of malaria.
- Recommended prevention in risk areas: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
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: All areas, except in the city of Dhaka.
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 90%, P. vivax 10%, and P. malariae rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or tafenoquine.4
3 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
4 Primaquine and tafenoquine can cause hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Patients must be screened for G6PD deficiency before starting primaquine or tafenoquine. See Tafenoquine Approved for Malaria Prophylaxis and Treatment for more information.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High 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.
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, political instability, and other ongoing security concerns, Canada (GAC) advises avoiding travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. U.S. (DOS), U.K. (FCO), and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by domestic and/or transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in Dhaka. 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 in Chittagong Division. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners).
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, sexual assault, and assault) and high risk of petty crime exist throughout the country, especially in Dhaka.
Scams involving corrupt officials at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport have been reported.
Protests, demonstrations, and nationwide general strikes (known as hartals) frequently occur throughout the country (especially in Dhaka) 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; hartals frequently cause severe disruptions during the work week, including in areas frequented by foreigners and expatriates.
A dangerous security environment exists and ethnic tensions are present in Chittagong Hill Tracts (Chittagong Division).
Piracy (involving commercial and private, leisure vessels) may occur in coastal waters.
Passenger boats may be unsafe, including river and sea ferries. Decline water transportation in vessels that appear overloaded or lack personal flotation devices or life jackets.
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 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.
Road-traffic collisions can lead to violent confrontations.
Avoid public buses, taxis, and mototaxis due to safety and security concerns, including risk of armed robbery, robbery, and very high risk of pick-pocketing.
Public buses, rail services, and taxis do not meet international safety standards (due to unsafe vehicles, poor maintenance, and hazardous driving).
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.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country does not oversee its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
The monsoon season is from June through October, coinciding with the cyclone season. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity frequently occurs, including in the cities of Moulvibazar and Sylhet.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Bangladesh
- United States: [+880] 2-5566-2000; bd.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+880] 2-5566-8444; bangladesh.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+880] 2-556-68700; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-consulate-sylhet
- Australia: [+880] 2-5881-3101-5; bangladesh.embassy.gov.au
Bangladesh's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.bdembassyusa.org
- In Canada: www.bdhcottawa.ca
- In the U.K.: www.bhclondon.org.uk
- In Australia: www.bhcanberra.com
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, 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.