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Taiwan



Capital: Taipei

Time Zone: +8 hours. No daylight saving time in 2008.
Tel. Country Code: 886
USADirect Tel.: 0
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 110/60 (volts/hz). North American Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plug A.


Travel Advisory - Taiwan

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 Taiwan


Resource Links

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

Embassies

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is authorized by law to perform American citizen services. It functions like a Consulate. (The United States does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.) Americans living or traveling in Taiwan are encouraged to register with AIT through the Department of State travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Taiwan. Americans residing in Taiwan are encouraged to join the AIT group email notification system by sending an email to aittaipeiacs-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Americans without Internet access may register directly with AIT Taipei or AIT Kaohsiung. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The American Institute in Taiwan is a full passport services agency. Processing time for routine passports is about two weeks.

• The American Institute in Taiwan
No.7 Lane 134
Hsin Yi Road Section 3
Taipei
Tel: [886] (2) 2162-2000
Fax: [886] (2) 2162-2239
E-mail: aitamcit@mail.ait.org.tw
Website: http://www.ait.org.tw
The American Institute in Taiwan branch office is located at No. 2 Chung Cheng 3rd Road, 5th Floor, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, telephone: (886) 7-238-7744; fax: (886) 7-238-5237.
In case of emergencies after working hours, the duty officer at the American Institute in Taiwan at Taipei may be contacted at (886) 2-2162-2000.

Canada does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

• Trade Office of Canada
365 Fu Hsing North Road
Taipei
Tel: [886] (2) 2544-3000
Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 00-800-2326-6831
Fax: [886] (2) 2544-3592
E-mail: tapei@international.gc.ca
Website: www.canada.org.tw

The UK has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan so limited consular-type services are available to British nationals. If you are staying for longer than four weeks, you should register with British Trade and Cultural Office.

• British Trade and Cultural Office
26th Floor
President International Tower
Number 9 - 11 Song Gao Road
Xin Yi District
Taipei
Tel: [886] (2) 8758-2088
Email: info@btco.org.tw

Entry Requirements

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. passport holders will be allowed to enter Taiwan without a visa for up to thirty days (no extensions allowed) if they have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Taiwan and they have a confirmed return or onward air ticket. Travelers must have already met any additional visa requirements for the next destination, if applicable. If the passport is valid for less than six months from the date of entry into Taiwan, travelers may apply for a landing visa that has a duration of stay of no more than thirty days. The processing fee is NT $5,100.00 (equivalent to approximately US $157.00; U.S. currency is not accepted) and no extensions are allowed. Travelers also have the additional option of applying for and receiving a Taiwan visa prior to arrival in Taiwan.

HIV Test: Applicants for residency and work permits (Testing is also required for anyone staying over 90 days.)

Required Vaccinations: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travelers older than 1 year arriving from infected or endemic areas.

Passport Information

Taiwan is a stable democracy with a strong and well-developed economy. Tourist facilities are widely available. 

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 unprotected 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.

Japanese Encephalitis: Recommended for travelers planning to visit rural farming areas for >4 weeks and under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.

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.

Yellow Fever: Travelers >1 year of age entering the country from an endemic area are required to present a certificate of immunization against yellow fever.

Hospitals / Doctors

Health facilities in Taiwan are more than adequate for both routine and emergency medical treatment. Physicians are well trained and many have studied in the U.S. and speak English. State of the art medical equipment is available at many clinics and hospitals.
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 or may be of unreliable quality.
• Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage, including air ambulance medevac. In the event of a serious illness or injury that can't be treated locally, every effort should be made to arrange medical evacuation to a facility with state-of-the-art capabilities.

The AIT maintains a listing of English-speaking doctors and hospitals at: http://www.ait.org.tw/en/uscitizens/HealthCareInTW.asp

• National Taiwan University Hospital
No.7, Chung San South Road
Taipei
Tel: [886] (02) 2312-3456
Fax: [886] (02) 2322-2431
E-Mail: service@mailer.mc.ntu.edu.tw
Website: http://ntuh.mc.ntu.edu.tw/english/
This is the leading health care facility in Taiwan.

• Taiwan Adventist Hospital
No. 424, Sec. 2, Bade Rd.
ongshan District,
Taipei City
Tel: [886] (2) 2771 8151
Website: http://www.tahsda.org.tw/en/
Full-service hospital, including trauma/emergency. Many expatriates use the Priority Care Center (http://www.tahsda.org.tw/en/3120.php) for quick outpatient service.

• National Taiwan University Hospital-Kungkuan
No.57, Lane 155
Sec. 3, Jilong Rd.
Taipei
Tel: [886] (02) 8733-9240
Website: http://ntuh.mc.ntu.edu.tw/kkh/index.htm

• Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
No.199, Tunghwa Rd.
Taipei
Tel: [886] (2) 2713 5211
Website: http://www.cgmh.com.tw/eng2002/about01.htm
General medical/surgical facility with ICU, 24-hour emergency services. The International Service Center provides a range of services to patients from abroad.

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: Until 2005, sexual contact (heterosexual, men having sex with men) accounted for 90% of all cases. Starting in 2005, injecting drug users (IDU) accounted for more than 50% of cases. In 2006 35% of people living with AIDS/HIV were IDUs, 26% were homosexual, and 25% heterosexual. The overall prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the general population is low (0.1%).
• 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.
• The threat of HIV/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 the body fluid of another person or their 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.

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.

Animal Hazards: Animal hazards include snakes (coral, krait, viper), centipedes, scorpions, and black widow spiders.

Avian Influenza A (Bird Flu): There have been no reported cases of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Taiwan during the current series of outbreaks.
• Avian influenza A (H5N1) is predominantly a disease of birds. The virus does not pass easily from birds to people and does not to pass from person to person (except in very rare cases of close contact with an infected blood relative).
• To date, no cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) illness have been identified among short-term travelers visiting countries affected by outbreaks among poultry or wild birds.

Dengue Fever: According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, approximately 500 cases of dengue fever, a significant increase over the average incidence, have been reported since August 2010, primarily from Kao-hsiung City and T'ai-nan City in southern Taiwan. Travelers are advised to practice daytime insect precautions. Cases of dengue fever were also reported in October 2008 from the cities of Kaohsiung.
Dengue fever is endemic in southern Taiwan year-round. The incidence of dengue is higher in the warmer, wetter months, April through October, especially in the southwestern coastal counties and islands. As of Oct 2007, the number of confirmed cases in Tainan City stood at over 500, making it the worst-ever outbreak of the disease in this region.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted, flu-like viral illness widespread in the Asia. Symptoms consist of sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. A syndrome of hemorrhagic shock can occur in severe cases.
• Dengue is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours. All travelers are at risk and should take measures to prevent daytime mosquito bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and applying permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear.
• There is no vaccination or medication to prevent or treat dengue.

A dengue fever map is at: http://www.nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/documents/dengue_map.pdf

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease: There has been an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in Taiwan with dozens of cases identified. A number of deaths have been reported. HFMD is caused by intestinal Enterovirus 71 (EV 71) and mainly affects small children. HFMD is transmitted via respiratory droplets and is characterised by fever, blisters and rashes on the hands, feet and buttocks.
• The World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_05_01/en/index.html) provides information on preventative measures.

Helminthic Infections (flukes and worms): Liver fluke diseases (clonorchiasis and fascioliasis): Clonorchiasis is transmitted by eating raw, undercooked, pickled, or smoked freshwater fish. It is endemic countrywide, with recognized foci in Miao-li in northern, Sun-moon in central, and Mei-nung in southern Taiwan. Travelers should eat only well cooked fish.
Fascioliasis is acquired by ingesting parasitic larvae attached to aquatic plants, such as watercress.
• Intestinal fluke disease (fasciolopsiasis): Giant intestinal fluke disease is common in the Far East and is acquired by eating the parasitic larvae attached to aquatic plants, such as water chesnuts which have been contaminated by sewage from animals (pigs) and humans.
• Lung fluke disease (paragonimiasis): Humans develp lung fluke disease after consuming contaminated raw, salted, or wine-soaked crustacea (freshwater crabs, crayfish, shrimp).
• Intestinal worm disease (capillariasis and angiostrongyliasis): Capillariasis is a serious infection acquired by the ingestion of raw freashwater fish that harbor infective worm larvae.
Angiostrongliasis (cerebral variety, causing eosinophilic meningitis; enzootic in mountainous, remote areas of southern and eastern Taiwan) is a parasitic infection found mainly in Asia and the Asia Pacific among people who eat snails, prawns, crabs, planarians, vegetables, contaminated by the mucus of infected slugs, land snails, or aquatic snails.
• Other intestinal helminthic infections include ascariasis (roundworms), ancylostomiasis (hookworms), enterobiasis (pinworms), trichuriasis (whipworms) and beef and pork tapeworm disease.
• PREVENTION: Travelers should avoid raw or undercooked food items that may be contaminated.

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 with an overall prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibody of 10.7% in the adult population. Sporadic cases may 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 10% or higher. 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 1.6% 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 hepatiti 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. Flu vaccine is recommended for travelers over age 6 months.

Japanese Encephalitis (JE): Endemic, with occasional focal outbreaks. JE occurs year-round countrywide, in both urban and rural areas. Cases have been reported in and around Taipei. Transmission of disease is elevated during the warmer, wetter months, April through October.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends JE vaccination for travelers spending more than 30 days in an endemic environment, or less than 30 days in areas with epidemic transmission. However, the use of an arbitrary cutoff cannot protect all travelers. Advance knowledge of trip details, accommodation and purpose, as well as local geography, is warranted to give adequate advice. Is travel occurring during the peak transmission season? In general, travelers to rural areas (especially where there is pig rearing and rice farming) should be vaccinated if the duration of their trip exceeds 3 to 4 weeks. They may consider vaccination for trips of shorter duration if more intense exposure is anticipated, especially during unprotected outdoor activities in the evening. Vaccination is advised for expatriates living in this country.
• Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by night-biting Culex mosquitoes. All travelers should take measures to prevent mosquito bites, especially in the evening and overnight. 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.

Malaria: There is currently no risk of malaria on Taiwan. This disease was officially eradicated in 1965.

Marine Hazards: Several species of poisonous fishes (stone, puffer, scorpion, zebra), as well as jellyfish, anemones, nettles, urchins, and sea cucumbers are found in the coastal waters around Taiwan and are potential hazards to swimmers.

Other Diseases/Hazards: Angiostrongyliasis (caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a rat lungworm; human infections are acquired by ingestion of raw or undercooked snails or slugs, prawns, or contaminated vegetables that contain the infective larvae of the worm. Endemic in southern and eastern Taiwan. During the past few years, outbreaks of human angiostrongyliasis have been reported.)
• Filariasis (Bancroftian variety; mosquito-borne; endemic on the Pescadores, Kinmen, and Matsu Islands),
• Hand, foot and mouth disease (usually caused by coxsackie virus; outbreaks are common; risk primarily to children, but has not been reported in travelers)
• Leptospirosis
• Lyme disease (a case of human Lyme disease has been reported, but disease prevalence is unknown)
• Melioidosis
• Scrub typhus (countrywide; risk may be elevated on Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and Orchid Islands; transmitted by ticks primarily in mountainous, wooded, grassy areas, or cleared forest and scrub brush-type areas)
• Flea-borne typhus (sporadic cases reported)

Q Fever: In southern Taiwan, acute Q fever is the most common rickettsiosis. Q fever, scrub typhus and murine typhus (QSM diseases) should be suspected in febrile patients who present with relative bradycardia, hepatomegaly, and elevated serum aminotransferases, but without leukocytosis.

Travelers' Diarrhea: Medium to high risk outside of first-class hotels. Outside of hotels and resorts, we recommend that you filter or purify all drinking water or drink only bottled water or other bottled beverages and do not use ice cubes. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products. Do not eat raw or undercooked food, especially meat and fish. Peel all fruits.
• Good hand hygiene reduces the incidence of travelers’ diarrhea by 30%.
• A quinolone antibiotic, or azithromycin, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis, amebiasis, or cryptosporidiosis.
• Seek qualified medical care if you have bloody diarrhea and fever, severe abdominal pain, uncontrolled vomiting, or dehydration.

Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is highly endemic in Taiwan 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 unvaccinated people traveling to or working in Asia, 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.