Travel health advisories

Verified 19 July 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Are you planning to travel abroad for tourism or business travel? You need to find out before you leave on the sanitary conditions of the country or countries you intend to visit. If you are traveling to an area where there is a risk of malaria transmission, you should consult a doctor before leaving to seek treatment. Other precautions are useful to avoid health problems (dengue, turista, chikungunya...).

Medical tourism (dental care, plastic surgery...) exposes you to particular risks.

Prevention of malaria

Malaria is a serious disease, potentially deadly, transmitted by certain mosquitoes (anopheles) and very widespread in tropical zones.

You must both protect against mosquito bites and take a preventive drug.

Antimalarial treatment can only be prescribed by a doctor.

This treatment will take into account in particular the following criteria:

  • Areas you will visit
  • Intensity of transmission
  • Conditions, duration and period of your trip
  • Your age
  • Your physical condition and medical history.

In case of fever upon your return from travel, you should seek urgent medical attention.


Malaria prevention must be systematic. Before departure to a country in an endemic zone, it must be consultation, if possible in travel medicine.

Protective measures against mosquito bites

For trips to hot or tropical climate destinations, it is recommended to:

  • Wear light, protective clothing (long sleeves, long pants, and closed shoes)
  • Apply a repellent product to open areas of the body
  • Sleep at night under an insecticide-treated net

There are other complementary measures (examples: air conditioning, ventilation...)

Prevention of Dengue and Chikungunya

Dengue and chikungunya are transmitted by a different type of mosquito than malaria.

They usually bite during the day.

At the individual level, prevention involves the use of physical means of protection (clothing, mosquito nets, etc.).

Use of repellents is recommended with caution in pregnant women and children under 12 years of age: take advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

For newborns less than two months of age, the use of insect repellent is not recommended and the use of insecticide-treated nets is preferred.

Precautions against bedbugs, lice, ticks

The risks associated with biting insects other than mosquitoes (bugs, lice, ticks, etc.) are particularly high in rural areas and/or in conditions of basic comfort.

It is recommended to take an insecticide and skin repellents.


Airplanes from certain countries are disinsectised.

To avoid their bites, it is recommended to:

  • Wear high-toed, closed shoes and long pants, with trousers tied around the calf or ankle
  • Hitting the ground with a stick or making noise while walking
  • Shake clothes, shoes, and sheets before use
  • Protect your personal belongings (clothes, shoes...) in case of bivouac, by storing them in a sealed plastic bag or can, containing insecticide balls.

To protect yourself from traveler's diarrhea and other food-related risks:

  • Wash your hands often with soap, especially before meals
  • Only drink bottled water with a cap on (open in front of you) or water that has been previously disinfected or boiled
  • Drink pasteurized or boiled milk
  • Peel the fruit yourself
  • Cook eggs, meat, fish well
  • Avoid raw vegetables, shells, heated dishes, ice cubes and ice creams, fresh fruit juices prepared by hand
  • Find out more locally about the risks of toxicity to sea fish
  • Avoid eating food sold on the street unless it is well cooked and the container is still smoking
  • Ask about rotavirus vaccination for infants under 6 months of age.

Good personal hygiene when traveling is important.

Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them.

Take special care in case of a wound or skin injury.

In addition:

  • Avoid letting laundry dry outside or on the floor
  • Don't walk barefoot on the beaches
  • Wear a light, easily washable, permeable clothing
  • Wear closed-toe shoes on muddy or wet floors
  • Do not walk or swim in fresh water
  • Avoid contact with animals.

You must refuse any care without new single-use equipment (needles, syringes...) or without appropriate sterilization.

Blood transfusions, dental care, injection or incision care represent a major risk in countries with inadequate health facilities (hepatitis B or C...).

You must also:

  • Bring disposable supplies if needed before departure
  • Avoiding tattoos and piercings
  • Avoid excessive sunlight and protect yourself from the sun (use a sunscreen adapted to your phototype, wear sunglasses, a hat...).

It is best to take a pharmacy kit with you (ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice) and to carry a insurance or assistance contract.

On the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you will find a section advice by country / destination.

Once the country selected, several sections (last minutes, security, entry / stay...) appear, including one on health.

You can register on the Ariane app of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This app allows you to receive health and safety alerts via SMS and email. The contact person designated on your account may also be notified.

Ariane: to be alerted in case of a crisis during a trip abroad

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