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A healthy trip to Mexico

A healthy trip to Mexico
Click to enlarge

17 Sep 2018

How can I protect my health when I go to Mexico?

Travellers come to Mexico to see Mesoamerican ruins and to participate in festivals while enjoying beach resorts and nature reserves. It is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries. But before you go, you will need to inform yourself about some health risks and take appropriate precautions.

Where can I get health advice before I go to Mexico

Six to eight weeks before you travel make an appointment with a travel health clinic. A travel health nurse will have up-to-date information about the health risks you might be exposed to at any destination, including Mexico. They can advise you on reducing your risk of exposure to illnesses such as measles, diphtheria and hepatitis A.

Do I need any vaccinations for Mexico?

Mexico is a partly tropical country and its standards of sanitation are variable so you will be exposed to a few health risks that you don’t tend to see in Canada. Rabies is endemic to Mexico, and the vaccine will offer improved protection if you are bitten or scratched by an infected animal.

Should I take malaria tablets when I go to Mexico?

Malaria occurs in parts of Mexico at certain times of year and you will need to get advice on when to start and finish your course of malaria tablets. Your travel health nurse can tell you whether you need anti-malarials for your trip to Mexico. You should also practise mosquito avoidance in Mexico as there are a number of other unpleasant mosquito-borne illnesses endemic to Mexico.

Is there a risk of Zika in Mexico?

If you are going to Mexico you may be exposed to the Zika virus via the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika can result in birth defects if a mother is infected during pregnancy and it has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, which affects the nervous system. Zika infection can be sexually transmitted, with men carrying it for up to six months. Women who are planning to conceive and their partners should take particular note of the risks. For more information, see the Government of Canada’s advice on Zika.

All travellers to Mexico should take steps to avoid mosquito bites during the day and at night.

Air pollution in Mexico City

The air quality in Mexico City can be poor because of pollution and this may be a problem if you have an underlying respiratory condition. Talk with your normal healthcare provider before you travel for advice on managing a respiratory or lung condition such as asthma while in Mexico City.

What are the health risks of spending time at altitude in Mexico?

Parts of Mexico (including Mexico City) are higher than 2,400m and this means that acute mountain sickness may be a problem. To learn more about the symptoms of this potentially fatal condition, read our travel advice article on altitude sickness.

Where can I get travel vaccinations in Calgary?

If you need an appointment at a travel clinic in Downtown Commercial, turn to Canadian Travel Clinics. It is quick and easy to book online.