Following WHO guidelines issued in 1973,
a cholera vaccination certificate is not a condition of entry to
Kyrgyzstan. However, cholera is common in this country and precautions
are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding
whether these precautions should include vaccination, as medical
opinion is divided over its effectiveness. For more information, see
the Health appendix.
2: Typhoid is
common in rural areas. Polio eradication is underway, rapidly reducing
the risk of infection with the disease.
Food & drink :
The water has been tested by the US-based
Center for Diseases Control and found to be generally bacteria-free;
however, it does have a high metal content. Milk is pasteurised and
dairy products are safe for consumption. Only eat well-cooked meat and
fish, preferably served hot. Pork, salad and mayonnaise may carry
increased risk. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. Owing to
the difficulty of obtaining a balanced diet in some parts of
Kyrgyzstan, visitors are recommended to take vitamin supplements.
Other risks :
Diphtheria outbreaks have been reported in the
area. Hepatitis A and E are common. Hepatitis B is endemic. Rabies is
present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be
considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. For
more information, consult the Health appendix.
HIV testing is required for visits of over 1 month.
Health care :
There is no reciprocal health agreement with
the UK. Medical services offered to foreigners, except emergency care,
require immediate cash payment and are somewhat limited. There is a
severe shortage of basic medical supplies, including disposable
needles, anaesthetics and antibiotics, and travellers are advised to
bring any necessary medication or equipment. Elderly travellers and
those with existing health problems may be at risk owing to inadequate
medical facilities. The US Embassy maintains a list of
English-speaking physicians in the area. Medical insurance is strongly