Ticks are the insects whose stings you should avoid in Vladivostok in the first place. It is believed that in populated areas, on average, one tick out of 25 is a carrier of the encephalitis virus. In remote areas, infected ticks are less common, but they are still a significant risk. The risk of coming across a mite is particularly high in the late spring and early summer. Therefore, it is better to refrain from hiking and walking in the woods in this period. At the same time, you can safely rest on the river spits and islands - these insects are extremely rare here.
If you do decide to go on nature, remember the basic safety precautions: wear closed clothes and use special repellents against ticks. But the most reliable protection against this dangerous insect is timely vaccination.
Another insect that may disturb Vladivostok's guests is Byelonozhka, or gnat. Contrary to the mites, gnats don't carry any serious illnesses, but their stings cause unpleasant sensations. Stung skin gets covered with red spots, often - blisters and swellings that trigger severe itching. As a rule, gnats attack people in woods and near the water. Therefore, going on nature, wear closed clothes and treat them with special protection means against insects. Being stung, don't scratch the wound and, if possible, immediately contact an allergist.
Regarding reptiles, racer and tiger grass snake are often seen in Vladivostok and its outskirts, viper and copperhead snake are less common. Generally these snakes avoid contact with people and attack only, if there is a danger for them. Therefore, snake bites are usually accidental. Snakes live mostly at screes and dry southern slopes. Therefore, you should be careful in such areas, especially when climbing up and grabbing hold of the rocks and bushes.
The bite of any snake - even of nonpoisonous - is far from pleasant experience, and therefore, in case of bite, try to see a doctor as soon as possible.
There are no officially required vaccinations for entering Russia. However, in order to secure yourself against possible health problems and to make your visit to Vladivostok more comfortable, it is worth having immunizations against such illnesses as:
- hepatitis A (often combined with vaccination against hepatitis B)
- tick-borne encephalitis
- typhoid fever
If you intend to stay in Primorsky Krai's territories for over 6 month, it is recommended to get vaccinations against tuberculosis, cholera, meningococcal meningitis and Japanese encephalitis.
If you regularly take some medicine, you should take it with in the first place. In a whole, the most necessary drugs can be always purchased in Russian pharmacy stores without prescription (including some antibiotics). There should be no problems with drug names: they are specified in Latin, too.
Nevertheless, it is recommended to have the following medicines with:
- aspirin, paracetamol and other antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic preparations
- antihistaminic preparations (in case of disposition to allergic reactions)
- drugs against diarrhea
- catarrhal preparations (including cough lozenges and syrop)
- protective means against insect bites
- adhesive plaster
- antiseptic and antibacterial agents
- sun block (if you travel in summer).
Medical insurance valid in the Russian Federation's territory is required from foreign citizens who need visa to enter the country (it is specified in visa requirements). The citizens of the countries, that have concluded special agreements on visa-free regime with Russia, are not required to have medical insurance to enter Russian territory.
However, considering that Russian health care system is underdeveloped and medical service is inferior in its quality to European standards, we recommend that, coming to Vladivostok, you provide yourself with medical insurance that is valid during the whole period of your stay. Formalizing health insurance in your country, make sure that the company has its service centers in Vladivostok. If it doesn't, your insurance company must reinsure you by its Russian partners.
Important! Remember that most medical insurances protect only against emergencies and sudden illnesses, and therefore, if you have a chronic illness, you should obligatory consult your physician for possible exacerbation in Russia in advance.
Condition of the water distribution system in Vladivostok, as in most Russian cities, is far from perfect, and therefore it is better not to drink the tap water. At the very least, it is worth boiling the tap water before drinking or putting it through a filter (iodine or chlorine). But it's best to consume bottled drinking water, especially since it is readily available and inexpensive.
At the same time, it is safe to brush teeth and wash fruits and vegetables in tap water.