Compared to other places in the region, Singapore appears sparkling clean. However, being located in the heart of Asia, Singapore is subject to problems related to tropical diseases. Whilst a high quality, international level of healthcare is available readily and inexpensively, any athlete or participant in the Youth Olympic Games should note and take precautions especially if it is their first time traveling to the tropics.
Although rare, diseases such as dengue fever and malaria have been reported. They are, however, kept in check through government-imposed regulations on locations such as sports facilities, gardens, drainage systems and other private and public space. Although dengue and malaria do surface periodically, and dengue fever has been reported as a rather serious issue at certain times of the year, they are largely isolated cases. The Singapore Ministry of Environment is very vigilant in its mosquito abatement programs.
New visitors to the region should take particular care when they travel outside Singapore, and especially avoid food stalls, and drink only bottled water. Students should frequently wash their hands, watch what they eat, and frequently replace common items such as toothbrushes and razors.
Illnesses in the tropics will not present the same symptoms as illnesses one experiences in temperate climates of Europe and the U.S., and may not respond to familiar treatments and common cures. It often takes much longer for recovery, and symptoms may be a great deal more severe. Prevention is critical.
By law, Singapore requires those who are traveling from infected countries to have the Yellow Fever vaccination. Visitors to the Singapore Youth Olympic Games in 2010 who plan to travel to neighboring countries need to consider their travel plans when getting their vaccinations. If possible, Hepatitis A and B as well as typhoid vaccinations are advisable, even though they are expensive.
There is a low risk of Japanese Encephalitis, but cases are reported countrywide, year-round. There is a low risk of traveler’s diarrhea in Singapore.