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Risk / Health Info for Nicaragua

If you are travelling to Nicaragua, make sure your shots are up to date. Consider getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, as well.

Mosquito-borne illnesses are present in Nicaragua, including malaria, Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya, so take care to wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible, use a reliable insect repellent, and sleep under a net or in air-conditioned accommodation where possible.

Stick to commercially bottled water when you are in Nicaragua to avoid “travellers’ diarrhea” and other gastrointestinal illnesses. Avoid putting ice in your drink, and don’t eat food if you can’t peel it, cook it or boil it.

Some medical equipment or medications may not be available in Nicaragua, and medical care especially outside of Managua is limited. Remember that your regular health insurance will not cover you outside Canada, so check with your provincial or territorial health authority before you leave for Nicaragua, and make sure you have sufficient funds available to pay cash.

Dengue fever in Nicaragua
There have been cases of the mosquito-borne virus dengue fever in Nicaragua. Dengue fever is also known as breakbone fever because of the severe bone, joint and muscular pains it causes, in addition to flu-like fever and headache. There is no vaccine for dengue fever. Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents (50% DEET) and by wearing protective clothing. Sleeping with mosquito nets is also recommended.
Malaria in Nicaragua
Malaria prophylaxis will be required for some parts of Nicaragua at certain times of year. There is no malaria vaccine, but there are anti-malaria drugs that should be taken before, during and after travelling to certain at-risk countries. Speak with your healthcare provider six weeks before your trip, as not all prophylaxis regimes are appropriate for all regions and all individuals.
Zika in Nicaragua
Global Affairs Canada has issued a warning about the risk of contracting Zika in Nicaragua. Zika is a viral disease spread by mosquitoes, and infection during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects. Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant should take advice before travelling to Nicaragua. Zika symptoms include rash, itch, mild fever, headache, red eyes, muscle and joint pains. Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents (50% DEET) and by wearing protective clothing. Mosquito nets and air conditioning should be used when sleeping.
Chikungunya virus in Nicaragua
Cases of Chikungunya virus have been reported in Nicaragua. It is spread by day-biting mosquitoes and you can guard against infection by covering up and using mosquito repellents. Infection results in joint pains, fever, rash and headache. It clears up after a few days, but some patients are left with swollen and painful joints for weeks or even years afterwards.

Recommended Vaccines for Nicaragua

Vaccine NameCourse
Hepatitis A2 Doses
Hepatitis A and typhoid (combined)1 Dose
Hepatitis A (paediatric)1 Dose
Malaria prophylaxis
Typhoid1 Dose
Typhoid (oral)1 Dose
This is a general list of travel vaccinations and immunisations for Nicaragua. Specific vaccines can only be determined after appointment with our travel nurse.

About Nicaragua

Nicaragua borders both the Caribbean and the Pacific oceans. On the Pacific side, the country has the two largest freshwater lakes in Central America. There is tremendous biodiversity and rainforest covers much of the territory. Textiles and agriculture make up most of its exports.

top Tips for travelling to Nicaragua

There are coffee plantations in the northern highlands of Nicaragua, and at Esteli there is a cigar factory. Nicaraguan rum is a good souvenir – look for Flor de Caña. Off the southern Pacific coast, the surfing is very good. Kayaking is a great way to explore the Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve.