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 US 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).
Burma (Myanmar) is a developing nation classified as lower middle income. Located in Southeast Asia along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea (east of India and west of Thailand), the climate ranges from dry summer to humid equatorial (short dry season), with cooler temperatures in some high-altitude areas.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Although yellow fever does not occur in Burma (Myanmar), an official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary.
- Requirement: A certificate proving yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers aged ≥ 1 year coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. This also applies to airport transit stops (no exit through immigration checkpoint) longer than 12 hours 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, COVID-19, 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 US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2019) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in remote rural, hilly and forested areas of the country, as well as in some coastal areas in Rahkine State. There is no transmission in cities and urban areas. The central plains and the dry zone are generally free of malaria, but some pockets of transmission still exist. Mefloquine resistance has been reported in Kayin State and the eastern part of Shan State. Emerging artemisinin resistance is suspected in south-eastern Myanmar. P. vivax resistance to chloroquine has been reported. Human P. knowlesi infection has been reported.
- 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)
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
bIn certain areas with multidrug–resistant malaria, mefloquine chemoprophylaxis is no longer recommended. At present these areas include Cambodia, Thailand, and south-eastern Myanmar.
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: Present at altitudes < 1,000 m (3,281 ft), including Bagan. Rare transmission above 1,000 m (3,281 ft) (see Map 2-07).
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine and mefloquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 60%, P. vivax 35%, P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. knowlesi rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: In the provinces of Bago, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Shan, and Tanintharyi <1,000 m (3,281 ft): Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or tafenoquine.4 All other areas <1,000 m (3,281 ft): Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or tafenoquine.4 Above 1,000 m (3,281 ft): None (practice mosquito avoidance).
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. Community sanitation and food safety measures are generally inadequate. Some itineraries (e.g., remote destinations, austere accommodations) and activities (e.g., ecotourism, eating street or local-market food) further increase risk.
Travelers should observe food and beverage precautions, which 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
Additional concerns include air pollution, anthrax disease, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, helminths, leptospirosis, marine hazards, melioidosis, plague, schistosomiasis, sexually transmitted infections, snakebites, tuberculosis.
The material below includes information from the US Department of State (DOS), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development 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 civil unrest, armed conflict, and the risk of arbitrary detention, US (DOS), Canada (GAC), and Australia (DFAT) advise avoiding all travel to this country. UK (FCO) has a more limited warning.
Low risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, including Yangon (Rangoon). Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Low risk of violent crime (armed robbery and home robbery) and low risk of petty crime exist throughout the country.
Theft of valuables from unattended accommodations is common.
Protests and demonstrations frequently occur throughout the country, including in Yangon (Rangoon), 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.
Armed conflict occurs, ethnic tensions are present, landmines and other unexploded ordnance are present, armed groups are present, and restricted areas exist in areas bordering China, Thailand, India, and Laos. Ethnic tensions are present in northern areas of Shan State.
Passenger boats may be unsafe, including ferries on rivers. 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.
There are no restrictions on mobile phone usage while driving.
Structural standards for vehicles may not meet international standards.
The cyclone season is from April through October. The monsoon season is from May through October in southwestern areas and from December through April in northeastern areas. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Burma (Myanmar)
- United States: [+95] 1-536-509; mm.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+95] 1-384-805; www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/myanmar
- United Kingdom: [+95] 1- 370865; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-yangon
- Australia: [+95] 1-230-7410; myanmar.embassy.gov.au
Burma's (Myanmar's) Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.mewashingtondc.org
- In Canada: [+1] 613-232-9990
- In the U.K.: www.londonmyanmarembassy.com
- In Australia.: www.mecanberra.com.au
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.