Living and working overseas is stressful enough, so it pays to make sure that you won’t have to worry about possible health risks as well. In this article, we will cover the most appropriate shots and vaccines that you and your family have to get and the potential health hazards in the UAE that you have to know about.
Health care has been heavily invested in, like most other industries in the UAE, and the UAE administration pays great significance to the health and well-being of its citizens and residents.
What To Keep In Mind To Stay Healthy
General cleanliness and personal hygiene, as well as regular vaccines, can go a long way in keeping you healthy and safe from diseases in the UAE.
Extremely high temperatures often present a health risk not to be overlooked, particularly if you are not used to a hot environment.
The local wildlife and MERS, by contrast, also pose a bit of risks to the wary expat.
Here are some of the most important things that you should keep in mind to stay healthy during your stay in the Emirates.
Ensure that at least two months before your move to the Emirates, all of your regular vaccines are up to date. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises hepatitis A and B, tetanus, typhoid, or rabies vaccines if you are working outdoors, with pets, or with kids.
Make sure all your regular vaccinations are still up-to-date before moving to the UAE. These should include the vaccine for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), polio vaccine, the vaccine for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP), varicella (chickenpox), and more.
It is recommended that you be vaccinated against typhoid fever and hepatitis A, both of which can be caused by the consumption of infected water or food. It is also a smart idea to vaccinate against hepatitis B, and a vaccination against rabies if you are likely to have a lot of contact with animals.
Know The Numbers To Call For Emergency
If you need help urgently, you can contact the following numbers:
- 999 for the police
- 998 for an ambulance
- 997 for the fire department
- Moreover, 996 will get you in touch with Abu Dhabi’s coast guard.
It Can Get Dangerously Hot
Nothing can brace you for the Emirates Sun’s extreme heat. Although all buildings are air-conditioned, the hot and high temperatures stifle during the late summer and can exceed 50 ° C.
Sunburn, dehydration, and heat stroke among expats are prevalent. If you want to go to the beach, do it as the locals do and go in the mornings and afternoons during the summer. Never go barefoot on the beach.
The humid, “Easter” breeze at the end of the summer doesn’t make things any better too. As such, it is very important not to disregard the weather, but rather to keep a cool head and shield yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.
Wear long, thin, and loose clothes when going outside. Apply sunscreen regularly and shield your head and face from the sun using a hat, scarf, or umbrella.
Outdoor physical exercise should also be limited, particularly during the day’s hottest time which is around 10 AM to 4 PM. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, drink plenty of water and consume salty snacks to help replace any salt lost while perspiring.
Also bear in mind that in high temperatures, your food and grocery can spoil much faster.
Be Mindful Of Your Prescription Drugs
Certain drugs that are authorized in your home country may be illegal in the UAE. These include Diazepam (Valium), antidepressants (SSRIs, Prozac, etc.) as well as anything that contains codeine.
If you want to take prescription medication to the UAE, ask the Ministry of Health for approval in advance and bring with you a doctor’s note. A prescription drug can be carried to the country with authorization for up to three months.
Beware of Sandstorms
Sandstorms and construction work dust may lead to breathing problems. When you have asthma or respiratory diseases, be mindful of this.
Nevertheless, the desert environment of the country may not only cause heat-related problems. The quantity of mineral dust particles stirred up by desert winds and other air pollutants such as construction sites is particularly high in the UAE.
Since the fine particles are particularly dangerous to those with pre-existing respiratory problems, people affected must avoid being out and about for long periods of time when high levels of air pollution are present.
Respect the Wildlife
But, it’s not just the desert sand that can cause problems. Be sure to inform yourself about the possible dangers of local wildlife before any desert excursions, and particularly if you’re camping.
Although scorpions and snakes prefer to stay away from humans as possible and many of the native species are not as poisonous, it’s always a good idea to be informed of what you might meet.
The same applies to the different species of sea snakes on the coast. While they are more dangerous than snakes that live on land, they are also not extremely aggressive if not triggered.
Beware of Ants and Other Bugs
Ants are more easily encountered and reactions to the bites of the rather violent fire ants and the more docile Samsun ants can be quite painful. In some cases, it can lead to anaphylactic shock.
The venomous redback spider in the UAE has also been spotted in several locations. Initially not native to the country, but in the hot climate, these spiders can be found not only in the desert.
Nonetheless, there is no reason to panic if you remain mindful of the environment, provide regard to the local wildlife and do not harm animals.
In the unlikely event of a bite or sting, seek immediate medical aid from doctors in medical centre sharjah, it would be ideal if you’d be able to characterize the perpetrator in detail to help medical personnel identify their exact species.
How Dangerous Is MERS?
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has been reported in the UAE. The disease affects the respiratory system, resulting in various symptoms including chest pain, shortness of breath, vomiting, stomach pain, and fever, which can be debilitating for those with pre-existing medical conditions in particular
Fortunately, however, the risk of MERS spreading from person to person is rather small, with known cases usually occurring only in hospital settings and requiring close contact with vulnerable people.
Because camels are believed to play a role in the transmission of MERS, you should be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when in contact with these animals. Always avoid contact with sick camels as well as eating raw or undercooked camel meat or products.
Additional Tips for Staying Healthy
As far as your health is concerned, the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s big cities in particular are safe places to travel. Nonetheless, following certain basic hygienic measures such as the following is always a great idea:
- Make sure your hands are always washed properly.
- To cover yourself from bug bites, using insect repellent and/or nets.
- limit your intake of raw or undercooked fish and meat.
- Make sure all fruit or vegetables are washed and peeled.
- Avoid drinking water from the tap.
Although UAE health care services are excellent, in order to access anything other than basic services, you will need private international health insurance.
You can apply for a UAE Ministry of Health medical card that provides free access to basic health care in an emergency, but only if you have your health card with you.
Uninsured, if anything more serious were to happen to you or your family, you would end up with a massive medical bill.