There is a high level of hygiene found in Alaska, so most common infectious diseases will not be a significant concern for travelers. Superb medical care and rapid evacuation to major hospitals are both available.
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Before You Go
No special vaccines are required or recommended for travel to Alaska.
It’s essential to purchase travel health insurance if your regular policy doesn’t cover you when you’re abroad.
Availability & Cost of Health Care
The US has an excellent health system, and health-care availability in Alaska is widespread in the main population centers. However, the cost of health care in Alaska, as in the rest of the USA, is extremely high.
The most dangerous health threat outdoors is hypothermia. Dress in layers topped with a well-made, waterproof outer layer and always pack wool mittens and a hat.
Due to Alaska’s long summer days, sunburn and windburn are a primary concern for anyone trekking or paddling. Use a good sunscreen on exposed skin, even on cloudy days, and a hat and sunglasses for additional protection.
Alaska is notorious for its biting insects, including mosquitoes, black flies, no-see-ums and deer flies. Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants that can be tucked into socks and a snug cap. Use a high-potency insect repellent and head nets in areas where there are excessive insects.
In recent years, paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) from eating mussels and clams has become a problem in Alaska. For a list of beaches safe to clam, check with the Alaska Division of Environmental Health (www.dec.alaska.gov/eh).
Tap water in Alaska is safe to drink, but you should purify surface water taken from lakes and streams that is to be used for cooking and drinking. The simplest ways to purify water are to boil it thoroughly or use a high-quality filter.