As part of planning your trip to South Korea, it is important you are aware of the infectious diseases you may encounter, and check which vaccinations you may need for South Korea before you go.
The list below is made of official recommendations about vaccinations for South Korea. Whether or not you will need any of the listed vaccines is determined based on your unique trip and profile.
Book an appointment online to get vaccinated at your local pharmacy. If you are unsure as to which vaccinations you require, book a free telephone consultation with one of our medical advisors, who will create a vaccine plan based on your needs.
In South Korea, there is also a risk of diseases that cannot be prevented with a vaccine. Here are other health risks you should keep in mind.
Malaria presents a low risk in the northern areas of South Korea, in Gangwon-do, Gyeonggi-do and Kyunggi Do Provinces, Incheon City and in rural areas towards the Demilitarised Zone bordering North Korea. The months of highest risk are from May to December.
If you are travelling to the Demilitarised Zone, take meticulous anti-mosquito bite precautions, especially if it is in the evening.
There is a risk of contracting insect and tick-borne diseases in South Korea, such as lyme disease which is caused by tick bites.
Not all diseases present human cases, but it is recommended you practice meticulous tick and insect bite avoidance techniques throughout your trip, no matter where you are in the country.
Cases of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, have been reported in the past in South Korea. There are no current cases, yet the risk is still present and awareness of this risk is important, especially if you plan on handling or being near populations of birds.
If you experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose or sore eyes, or pneumonia-like symptoms such as chest pain or coughing, consult a doctor for an assessment.
It is important to take precautions during your stay in South Korea, as the diseases can be spread in many different ways and the risk can increase at anytime.
There is a risk of malaria in South Korea, and you cannot be protected against the disease by vaccination.
Because of this, it is really important you protect yourself against mosquito bites, as they are the main cause of the infection during your stay in the country.
The various insect and tick-borne diseases are widespread across South Korea. There is no specific location at higher risk of lyme disease, therefore, if you plan on spending much of your trip outdoors, you should avoid meadows or parks where ticks could hide. The risk is highest from early spring to late autumn.
Cases of bird flu have been reported in Gyeonggi province, the area that surrounds Seoul and South Chungcheong. Because of these cases, it is important to be aware that contracting bird flu is a risk and practicing precautions, such as avoiding bird farms or wild birds, in South Korea is helpful to stay safe.
These are some of the most important services you may need while in South Korea.
The British Embassy Seoul The British Embassy Seoul can provide assistance while you are there. You can reach them by calling +82 (0)2 3210 5500.
Local emergency medical services For emergencies needing medical assistance, dial +82 1339 to be connected to a medical service specifically in place to help foreigners.
Medical facilities and practitioners In the case that you may get ill while in South Korea, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has provided a list of English-speaking medical professionals and other medical services, so you may have quick access to reliable information.
Check if you need vaccinations Book an appointment at your local pharmacy at least 6 to 8 weeks before travel to get vaccinated
Insect protection Avoid insect bites while in South Korea by preparing the necessary tools, including DEET insect repellent
Travel insurance If you become ill in South Korea and did not receive the right vaccinations before you left, your travel insurance can become void. So, make sure to check before you leave
Note useful contact numbers A list of useful contacts to take with you to South Korea in case of an emergency is always handy
If you already know which vaccinations you need, you can book a vaccination appointment at your local pharmacy.
If you would like to discuss your specific requirements with a medical advisor, book a free telephone consultation. A Practio nurse will give an individual assessment of your needs and recommend a suitable vaccination programme.
Anne Marie Major, Independent Nurse Prescriber
20 June 2019
Infected insects can cause serious diseases like malaria. So, remember to prevent insect bites while away. Don't know how? Read our tips.
Whether you are a city or an outdoor traveller, you may be at risk of tick bites. So, check the risk on your destination and prevent tick bites while away.