Time Zone: +3 hours. No daylight savings time in 2008.
Tel. Country Code: 974
USADirect Tel.: 0
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 240/50 (volts/hz). United Kingdom Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plugs C, F.
Travel Health Services
Foreign Commonweatlh Office
U.S. Embassy: Al-Luqta District on 22nd February Street, Doha
Tel: 974- 488-4176
• Ten-year, multiple entry visa is available. Travelers should contact the Qatar Embassy in Washington for further details.
• HIV Test: Required for work permit or student visa.
Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine
• Vaccinations: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travelers arriving from infected areas.
Hospitals / Doctors
• Hamad Hospital, Doha (600 beds); major referral center; all specialties; well-equipped and staffed.
Destination Health Info for Travelers
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.
Environmental Pollution: Raw sewage is pumped directly into the Persian Gulf, and beaches are considered contaminated.
Hepatitis: All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should be vaccinated against this disease. Travelers who are non-immune to hepatitis A (i.e. have never had the disease and have not been vaccinated) should take particular care to avoid potentially 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 may be endemic but the levels are unclear. Sporadic cases may occur but go underdiagnosed or 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 with a prevalence of 2.8% in the general population. 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 population of the world. 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: Both cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis may be present in endemic areas. Visitors should take measures to prevent insect (sandfly) bites.
Malaria: There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Other Diseases/Hazards: Brucellosis (usually transmitted by raw dairy products), rabies (occurs rarely in stray dogs), trachoma, tuberculosis (low incidence), typhoid fever, soil-transmitted helminthic
infections (roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm infections are common in rural areas; incidence is estimated at less than 5%).
Travelers' Diarrhea: Water is obtained almost exclusively from desalination plants. The high mineral content of underground water makes it unsuitable for drinking. A quinolone antibiotic, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of acute diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis or amebiasis.
Typhoid Fever: Typhoid vaccine is recommended, especially for long-term travelers, adventure travelers, and those wishing maximum disease protection. Because the typhoid vaccines are only 60% to 70% effective, safe food and drink guidelines should continue to be observed.