How to Stay Healthy in Serbia: Travel Safety Tips

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Serbia is an easy place to stay healthy, but there are a few things you should know about wildlife and weather.

View from Belgrade Fortress, River delta of Sava and Danube river Photo © Getty Images/Westend61

Serbia is not too bad when it comes to staying healthy, like any country it has its share of health issues. There are a few little things you need to be careful of, but all-in-all you shouldn't have too much trouble. So let's take a look at what you need to watch out for.

The Kosava

When traveling through Serbia and especially the capital, Belgrade, you maybe hear locals refer to the Kosava. Basically it's a notorious Belgrade wind, which sweeps through the area bringing a burst of cold that will chill you to your bones.

It starts in the Carpathian Mountains and follows the Danube northwest where it gains a jet effect, then continues to Belgrade. It can spread as far north as Hungary.

In the winter, it can cause temperatures to drop to around -30C. In the summer, it is cool and dusty. But the danger of this wind - it can give you a cold more quickly than you expect, especially in winter.

The best advice would be to dress appropriately and don't spend too much time out in the wind. You'll definitely feel the pinch.

Wildlife and stray dogs

Serbia has a particularly high number of animals roaming its countryside and streets. Many of these are strays.

And while they may look friendly, always be careful about unknown animals. Rabies can be found with stray dogs and you can definitely give yourself an unpleasant experience if you end up with a dose while on your trip overseas. The positive is that the risk of contracting it has reduced thanks to an EU supported program to help eradicate the disease. The number of rabies cases fell as much as 80% in 2011, with only 13 cases of the disease present in 2012.

Vaccinations for Serbia

There are no specific vaccinations required for Serbia, however it is always a great idea to get a Hepatitis A shot and make sure your routine vaccinations e.g measles are up to date.

Is the water safe to drink in Serbia?

If you decide to go to this region, boil (or better still, purify) your drinking water or used bottled water only. Taking the right food and water hygiene precautions can often save you a few days in hospital.

Medical treatment in Serbia

So you've got yourself sick and you need to go to hospital. Many doctors and other health care providers in Serbia are highly trained with ambulance services, hospitals and equipment having improved considerably. Serbia also has reciprocal agreements with other EU nations for emergency health care.

For less serious illnesses and injuries, chemists can sort you out with advice and over the counter medications. However, it is recommended to take what medications you may need from home along with a doctor's letter as sometimes there are medication shortages in Serbia.

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  • Athena said

    I have no Idea what am I reading, I can't believe with my own eyes. Meningitis, Hepatitis, animals on the street, wind....measles?! I live in Serbia for more than a decade, and I had no Idea about all that. Now I am scared...I've heard if you go to States, you can get Aids and other Hepatitises ;) also you can get sick because there are a lot of tornados and other strong winds there. Ok, enought with jokes, check your facts before you write something.

  • pakita said

    Ahahaaaaa, animals, measles, bad quality water... but that is not the bigest problem, I heard there are dragons still living in Serbia, from time to time they eat some travelers in dark back streets. Also there are a lot of vampires in graveyards so be carefull please !!!!

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