Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Use High Level of Caution
Avoid Travel to the following municipalities: Sylhet, Khulna, Noakhali, and Chittagong

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 1
Latest Alert February 25, 2017 - Hartal scheduled for February 28, 2017, in Dhaka, 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.

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 Dhaka Metropolitan Police
02-9555555 For suspected heart attack, as for a cardiac ambulance
01730336699 For suspected heart attack, as for a cardiac ambulance

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

Dialing 999 will connect you to the Dhaka Metro Police, but there is no guarantee that your language will be spoken. 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 likely victims. 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.

Annual monsoon rains can cause flash floods and mudslides 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.

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.

Extreme Violence

There is a high threat from terrorism in Bangladesh. Islamist extremist groups have claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in 2015, including the murder of four atheist bloggers, an Italian aid worker and a Japanese agricultural worker. There is a high risk of further attacks, including attacks that could target westerners.

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 and political public gatherings occur frequently and should be avoided as they could turn violent at any time. There have been deaths related to violent protests in Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh, enforced strikes, known as hartals, occur regularly and sometimes turn violent.

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