Skip to main content

Puerto Rico

Risk / Health Info for Puerto Rico

Canadian Travel Clinics can help you make sure your shots are up to date before you leave for Puerto Rico. Consider getting protected against hepatitis A and B.

Avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes in Puerto Rico so you reduce the risk of getting Zika, chikungunya or dengue fever. Always use a reliable insect repellent, and sleep in air-conditioned accommodation where possible.

Reduce your chances of getting “travellers’ diarrhea”: if you can’t peel it, boil it or cook it, don’t eat it. Make sure you have travel insurance to cover the cost of medical treatment before you leave for the Puerto Rico. Consult your provincial or territorial health authority for more information.

Dengue fever in Puerto Rico
There have been cases of the mosquito-borne virus dengue fever in Puerto Rico. 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.
Schistosomiasis in Puerto Rico
The schistosomiasis parasite enters humans through the skin during contact with fresh water. To prevent infection, avoid swimming or paddling in lakes and streams in Puerto Rico. This condition is also known as bilharzia.
Zika in Puerto Rico
Global Affairs Canada has issued a warning about the risk of contracting Zika in Puerto Rico. 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 Puerto Rico. 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 Puerto Rico
Cases of Chikungunya virus have been reported in Puerto Rico. 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 Puerto Rico

Vaccine NameCourse
Hepatitis A2 Doses
Hepatitis A and B combined (adult)3 Doses
Hepatitis A and B combined (paediatric)2 Doses
Hepatitis A and typhoid (combined)1 Dose
Hepatitis A (paediatric)1 Dose
Hepatitis B3 Doses
Hepatitis B (paediatric)3 Doses
Typhoid1 Dose
Typhoid (oral)1 Dose
This is a general list of travel vaccinations and immunisations for Puerto Rico. Specific vaccines can only be determined after appointment with our travel nurse.

About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, in the Caribbean Sea just east of the Dominican Republic. With a mainly mountainous landscape and a tropical climate, it is subject to the Atlantic hurricane season, as well as occasional tectonic activity, which results in earth tremors and quakes. As with many islands it has its rich biodiversity.

top Tips for travelling to Puerto Rico

Old San Juan has delightfully pretty colonial architecture, and many historical sites to explore, including forts, fountains and plazas.