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General map of Russia

Medical Summary

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).

General Information

Russia is a developing nation classified as upper middle income. Located in northern Asia (along the Arctic and the North Pacific Oceans), the climate classifications range from humid cold (no dry season) to cold polar (tundra and ice), with cooler temperatures in some high-altitude areas.


Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against COVID-19, 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 US 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 the 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.

Other Concerns

Travelers' Diarrhea

See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea

Moderate risk exists throughout the country, with minimal risk in deluxe accommodations. Community sanitation and food safety measures may be 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.

Other Food-Borne Illnesses

Precautions to prevent brucellosis may be needed.

Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases

Leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, scrub typhus, West Nile virus may pose a risk. Personal protective measures are important.

Other Disease and Health Risks

Additional concerns include altitude illness, anthrax disease, avian influenza, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, hantavirus, hepatitis C, leptospirosis, medication restrictions, plague, radiation, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis.

Consular Advice

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 military conflict with Ukraine, the risk of arbitrary detention, and other ongoing security concerns, US (DOS), UK (FCO), and Australia (DFAT) advise avoiding all travel to this country. Canada (GAC) has a more limited warning.

An unsafe security environment exists due to the impact of the armed conflict with Ukraine, including drone attacks along the border with Ukraine and in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Due to sanctions imposed on Russia, transportation (including flight options), basic services, and financial services may be limited. Credit and debit cards may be declined, cash shortages have been reported, and electronic transfers from foreign banks may not be possible. A heightened threat exists of arbitrary detention of foreigners by authorities. Travelers who are in this country despite consular warnings should maintain a high level of security awareness, make an alternative plan for access to money, avoid demonstrations, carry a fully charged communication device, follow the advice of local authorities, and monitor the situation through local media and embassy communications.

Terrorism Risk

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.


Moderate risk of violent crime (armed robbery and assault) and high risk of petty crime exist in Moscow and St. Petersburg and other cities, on or near public transportation, and in areas frequented by tourists (including Red Square and Izmailovsky Market).

Theft of valuables from unattended vehicles and accommodations is common.

Kidnappings by criminal groups occur in the Northern Caucasus Region. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.

Scams involving 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.

Civil Unrest

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, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.

Unsafe Areas

A dangerous security environment exists in Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetiya republics; in Stavropol Krai; and in Kabardino-Balkariya, Karachayevo-Cherkesiya, and North Ossetia republics.

Water Safety

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.

Transportation Safety

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.

Seat belt laws are poorly enforced.

Airline Safety

The US 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.

Natural Disasters

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.

Consular Information

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.: washington.mid.ru/en
  • In Canada: canada.mid.ru/web/canada-en
  • In the U.K.: www.rusemb.org.uk
  • In Australia: australia.mid.ru

Visa/HIV Testing

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.