Travel in Austria poses no specific or unusual health risks. The tap water is generally safe to drink—in fact, Austrians are obsessed about water quality and it is some of the purest in the world. If in doubt, buy bottled water—available everywhere. The only potential risk worth mentioning is tick-bite encephalitis, which is only a danger if you're planning to do extensive cycling or hiking in the backcountry.
You must buy over-the-counter remedies in an Apotheke, and most personnel speak enough English to understand what you need. Try using the generic name for a drug, rather than its brand name. You may find over-the-counter remedies for headaches and colds less effective than those sold in the United States. Austrians are firm believers in natural remedies, such as homeopathic medicines and herbal teas.
Shots and Medications
No special shots are required before visiting Austria, but if you will be cycling or hiking through the eastern or southeastern parts of the country, get inoculated against encephalitis; it can be carried by ticks.
National Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. 800/232–4636; www.cdc.gov/travel.
World Health Organization. www.who.int.
Transportation Security Administration. www.tsa.gov.