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Bahrain



Capital: Manama

Time Zone: +3 hours
Tel. Country Code: 973
USADirect Tel.: 800
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz). United Kingdom Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plugs C, F.


Travel Advisory - Bahrain

Malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue fever occur throughout SE Asia and the Indian sub-Continent. Insect-bite protection is essential. Hepatitis E, spread by contaminated water, is also a threat. There is no vaccine. Pregnant women are at special risk. Take measures, as needed, to purify your water outside of first-class hotels.

Dr. Rose Recommends for Travel to Bahrain


Resource Links

NaTHNaC
World Health Organization
CDC
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office

Embassies


• U.S. Embassy
Bldg. 979, Road # 3119, Zinj District
Manama
Tel: [973] (17) 273-300
Fax: [973] 256-242
Website: www.usembassy.com.bh

• Consulate of Canada
Al Jasrah Tower, 12th Floor
Building No. 95, Road 1702
Block 317, Diplomatic Area
Manama
Tel: [973] (17) 536270
Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 800-00-732
Fax: [973] (17) 532520
E-Mail: canadabh@batelco.com.bh

• British Embassy
21 Government Avenue
Manama
Telephones:
[973] (17) 574100
[973] (17) 574167 Information
[973] (39) 600274 Emergency number
Email: britemb@batelco.com.bh
Website: http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/bahrain

Entry Requirements

 ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport and a visa are required. Passports should be valid for at least six months after date of arrival. U.S. passport holders outside of Bahrain may apply and pay for a two-week tourist visa online through the Bahraini government website at http://www.evisa.gov.bh, or may obtain it upon arrival at the airport. U.S. diplomatic passport holders receive a no-fee two-week visa. Prior to travel, visitors may obtain five-year multiple-entry visas valid for stays as long as one month from Bahraini embassies overseas. Bahrain assesses heavy fines on visitors who fail to depart Bahrain at the end of their authorized stay. The amount of the fine is determined by a formula related to the visa type, duration, and location of issuance. An exit tax is included in the ticket price for flights out of Bahrain, and no additional exit fees are required upon departure. Residents of Bahrain who intend to return must obtain a re-entry permit before departing.
For further information on entry/exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 342-1111; or the Bahrain Permanent Mission to the U.N., 2 United Nations Plaza, East 44th St., New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 223-6200. Visit the Embassy of Bahrain website at www.bahrainembassy.org for the most current visa information.



HIV Test: Not required.


Required Vaccinations: None required.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: Bahrain is a hereditary kingdom governed by the Al-Khalifa family. In 2002, the country adopted a new constitution that reinstated a parliament, which consists of one elected and one appointed chamber. Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the conservative foundation of the country’s customs, laws and practices. Bahrain is a modern, developed country and tourist facilities are widely available. The capital is Manama. 

Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers at potential risk for acquiring this infection. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and uånprotected sex; when receiving non-sterile medical or dental injections, or unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin sores on an infected person. Recommended for long-term travelers, expatriates, and any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The new Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.

Typhoid: Recommended for all travelers with the exception of short-term visitors who restrict their meals to major restaurants and hotels.

Hospitals / Doctors

Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in several hospitals and health centers in Bahrain. Two government hospitals, several private hospitals, and numerous private clinics located throughout the country offer a wide range of medical services. Cardiac care, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, orthopedics and dentistry services are readily available, as are x-rays, CT-scan and MRI testing. The government hospitals house both trauma and ICU units. Pharmacies are common throughout Bahrain and carry a wide range of medications.
All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers’ diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country—the equivalent drugs may not be available.
• Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage, including air ambulance medevac to another country if required for additional treatment or on-going care.

Hospitals in Bahrain include:

• International Hospital of Bahrain
Manana
Tel: [973] 1759 8222
Website: http://www.ihb.net/index.asp
New private facility; comprehensive care utilizing advanced technology. 24-hour emergency services. Many visiting professors from overseas involved in teaching and patient care.

• Bahrain Specialist Hospital
Manana
Tel: [973] 1781 2000
Emergency Tel: [973] 1781 2111
Website: http://www.bsh.com.bh/
Specialized medical center that provides up-to-date medical services by experienced consultants and specialists, using state-of-the-art medical equipment and systems.

• Salmaniya Medical Complex
Manana
Tel: [973] 1728 8888
Website: http://www.moh.gov.bh/SMC_contacts.asp
Government teaching facility; all specialty services except neurosurgery.

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: The prevalence of HIV in the Middle East is estimated at 0.3% to 0.4%. As in other regions, known high-risk groups include men who have sex with men, female sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users and prisoners. The quality of the available data, however, is seriously lacking. No country in the Middle East conducts systematic surveys of groups at high risk of infection. (Source: Avert.org)
• The United Nations does not currently publish HIV/AIDS epidemiological fact sheets for Bahrain and thus specific HIV/AIDS data are not available for this country.
• The development of AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with another person’s body fluids or blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

Food & Water Safety: Water is treated and considered safe by the Ministry of Health in Bahrain, although visitors may prefer to drink bottled water. All modern hotels have their own filtration plants. Visitors are advised to eat well cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot.

Hepatitis: All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should be vaccinated against this disease. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E is endemic but levels are unclear. Sporadic cases may be underdiagnosed and underreported. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. Farm animals, such as swine, and also deer and wild boar, may serve as a viral reservoirs. (HEV is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food.) In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated at 2% to 7%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic but levels are not determined. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C — an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the world’s population. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Influenza: Influenza is transmitted from November through March. The flu vaccine is recommended for all travelers over age 6 months.

Leishmaniasis: Cutaneous leishmaniasis is reported in Bahrain, but levels are unclear. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is reported throughout the Middle Eastern area, especially in countries bordering the Mediterranean; visceral leishmaniasis, although rare throughout most of the area, occurs focally in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. The parasites that cause leishmaniasis are transmitted by the bite of the female phlebotomine sandfly. Sandflies bite in the evening and at night and are usually found in forests, the cracks of stone or mud walls, or animal burrows.
• All travelers should take measures to prevent sandfly bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin, permethrin (spray or solution) to clothing and gear, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated bednet.

Malaria: There is currently no risk of indigenous malaria in this country. Reported cases usually occur in expatriate workers from malarious areas, who have imported the disease.

Other Diseases/Hazards: West Nile virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection found in the region. West Nile virus is transmitted via the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Culex mosquitoes feed predominantly during the hours from dusk to dawn. All travelers should take measures to prevent evening and nighttime mosquito bites.
• Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin, applying permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated bednet. DEET-based repellents remain the gold standard of protection under circumstances in which it is crucial to be protected against mosquito bites that may transmit disease. Nearly 100% protection can be achieved when DEET repellents are used in combination with permethrin-treated clothing.

WNV has three different effects on humans. The first is an asymptomatic infection (the most common); the second is a mild febrile illness termed West Nile fever (usually undiagnosed or misdiagnosed); the third is a neuroinvasive disease termed West Nile meningitis or encephalitis. In infected individuals the ratio between the three states is roughly 110:30:1.

Rabies: Bahrain was declared rabies-free by WHO (2005), but all unprovoked dog or wild animal bites should be medically evaluated for possible post-exposure treatment.

Travelers' Diarrhea: Tap water is potable. A quinolone antibiotic, or azithromycin, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of acute diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotics may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis or cryptosporidiosis.

Tuberculosis (TB): Tuberculosis is highly endemic in Bahrain with an annual occurrence was greater than or equal to 40 cases per 100,000 population. Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted following inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets. Most travelers are at low risk. Travelers at higher risk include those who are visiting friends and relatives (particularly young children), long-term travelers, and those who have close contact, prolonged contact with the local population. There is no prophylactic drug to prevent TB. Travelers with significant exposure should have PPD skin testing done to evaluate their risk of infection.

Typhoid Fever: Typhoid vaccine is recommended by the CDC for all people (except for short-stay travelers) traveling to or working in the Middle East, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi, the cause of paratyphoid fever. (Paratyphoid fever bears similarities with typhoid fever, but the course is generally more benign.) Travelers should continue to practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions, even if vaccinated.