Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Use High Level of Caution
Avoid Travel to the following provinces: Chittagong
Avoid Travel to the following municipalities: Dhaka

The People's Republic of Bangladesh is on the Bay of Bengal and between Burma and India. The terrain is mainly flat plain, and during monsoon season, about one-third of the country floods. The population is about 158,000,000 people. Dhaka, the capital city, has a population of about 14 million.

The government is a parliamentary democracy with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971. In the years that followed independence, the country experienced famines, natural disasters, widespread poverty, political turmoil and military revolts. Since 1991, there has been relative calm and economic progress.

Bangladesh is a very progressive country when it comes to environmental concerns. All gasoline and diesel vehicles have been banned from major urban centres. In addition, Bangladesh has banned plastic bags and has created national parks and protected areas. Major attractions include ancient swamps in the Sundarbans National Park, remains of early Buddhist kingdoms, tea plantations, and beaches.

Currency BDT: Taka
Language Bangla. English is also widely spoken.
Capital Dhaka
Recent Alerts 19
Latest Alert December 05, 2019 - BNP to Hold Nationwide Rally on 10 December - Bangladesh

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Bangladesh. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Bangladesh through contaminated food or water. 

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Bangladesh.

Japanese encephalitis

In Bangladesh, outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis occur between the months of May and October. Cases of Japanese encephalitis have been reported in the areas of Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, and Rajshahi, and Sylhet divisions, however, the disease is likely widespread throughout Bangladesh. The risk for travellers of contracting Japanese encephalitis is low, but visiting the listed areas and extensive outdoor activity in rural areas will increase this risk.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in Bangladesh, and the risk to travellers is significant.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Bangladesh, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Malaria

All areas of Bangladesh are at risk for malaria, excluding the city of Dhaka.

Elephantiasis

A special program to eliminate filariasis has been very successful. This infection occurs only in a few districts, principally along the border with India.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is found in Bangladesh. There has been a sharp increase in the disease since the cessation of DDT spraying. Leishmaniasis is usually more common in rural than urban areas, and the risk of acquiring leishmaniasis is increased in travellers who spend time outdoors in rural areas and at night when sand flies typically feed.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis occurs in Bangladesh.

Nipah Virus

Nipah virus infection is a highly contagious, lethal disease that was recently discovered in Malaysia. Bangladesh has recorded outbreaks of this disease.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Bangladesh. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Bangladesh. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Yellow Fever

Travellers are not at risk for yellow fever for this country. However, this country requires all persons age 1 year or over to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a region where yellow fever is present.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Bangladesh. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Zika Fever

Zika virus can occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Bangladesh.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

This vaccination is recommended for travellers who plan extensive outdoor activity in rural areas between May and October, particularly in the areas of Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, and Rajshahi, and Sylhet divisions.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Travellers are not at risk for yellow fever for this country. However, this country requires all persons age 1 year or over to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a region where yellow fever is present.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Bangladesh.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malarial medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for Chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Bangladesh

Emergency Numbers

999 from cell phone only

Emergency services are extremely limited in Bangladesh. If you have transportation, it may be faster to go straight to the nearest hospital.

Note that emergency operators may speak only local languages. Outside of Dhaka, you will need to include the city's area code by dialing 02-999 or 88-02-000.

Personal Safety

Tourist facilities are minimal in Bangladesh. Travellers should always ensure their identification and travel documents are kept safe, follow the advice of local authorities, and remain aware of their personal security at all times in Bangladesh.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, are common. Unaccompanied women are the most vulnerable. Women also face the risk of both verbal and physical abuse. Do not walk alone after dark.

Violent crime occurs in major cities, and security threats against foreigners occur in various areas across the country, including in Chittagong, Sylhet, Feni and Khulna. To avoid being targeted, do not show any signs of affluence such as jewellery or expensive clothing.

Road travel may be dangerous due to poor road conditions, traffic congestions, debris on roads, and reckless driving. Exercise extreme caution in rural areas where roads may be unpaved and unlit at night. Avoid travelling after dark.

Exercise caution when taking public transportation. Ferry services are often overloaded and unsafe.

Annual monsoon rains and cyclones (June - October) can cause flash floods and landslides in some areas of Bangladesh. If travelling to Bangladesh in the rainy season and planning to stay in the lowland areas, travellers should exercise caution and monitor local weather reports. Maintain a flexible schedule to allow for any unexpected changes that may occur due to rainy season weather. Bangladesh is at risk for earthquakes due to its location in an active seismic zone.

Same-sex relations and behaviours are prohibited. All travellers should avoid open displays of affection due to the conservative nature of the country. Dress modestly in respect for the country's customs. Take note of whether you will be travelling during Ramadan. If travelling during this time, do not eat, drink or smoke in public between sunrise and sunset.

Areas To Avoid

Travellers should avoid all travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts region due to the high risk of kidnappings and politically motivated violence. Authorities of Bangladesh require advance notification from travellers going to this region at least 7-10 days before visiting. If travel to this region is essential, exercise extreme caution and follow the advice of local authorities.

Avoid travelling to Dhaka as the threat of terrorism is high.

Avoid travel to southern Bangladesh as a large number of Rohingya refugees have come to the area and the safety and security situation is unstable.

Extreme Violence

There is a high threat of terrorism in Bangladesh.

Politically-motivated violence is common across Bangladesh. Attacks with explosive devices have occurred throughout this country, therefore crowded areas, such as hotels, transportation hubs, movie theatres, political rallies, etc., should be avoided if possible.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations, political public gatherings and nationwide hartals (enforced strikes) occur frequently and should be avoided as they could turn violent at any time. Hartals, which could shut down all transportation, may result in severe travel disruptions.

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