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US Virgin Islands

Risk / Health Info for US Virgin Islands

Do I need shots for the US Virgin Islands?

Always make sure your shots are up to date before you leave for the US Virgin Islands. Consider also getting vaccinated against viruses such as typhoid and hepatitis A, which cause gastrointestinal illnesses and are contracted from contaminated food and water.

Before visiting the US Virgin Islands, consider getting a hepatitis B shot, especially if you plan to go often or stay for a long stay. Children should also get vaccinated against hep B. It is spread by contact with blood or body fluid, such as people who plan to work in healthcare or dentistry in the US Virgin Islands, or anyone getting invasive medical or cosmetic procedures should also get vaccinated. Hep B can also be spread by dirty needles and unprotected sex.

What healthcare facilities are available in the US Virgin Islands?

The US Virgin Islands has good-quality public and private medical facilities, especially in Saint Croix, Saint Thomas and Saint John. You will need travel insurance when you leave Canada, so check your provincial or territorial health authority before you leave to you are covered.

The emergency number in US Virgin Islands is 911.

Protect your health in US Virgin Islands

Mosquito-borne illnesses, including Zika, chikungunya and dengue fever, are present in the US Virgin Islands. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing clothing with full limb coverage, using a reliable insect repellent, and sleeping under a bed net or in air-conditioned accommodation where possible.

Reduce the risk of getting “travellers’ diarrhea” by using commercially bottled water for drinking and ice cubes. Avoid food that you cannot peel or that has not been cooked or boiled.

Chikungunya virus in US Virgin Islands
Cases of Chikungunya virus have been reported in US Virgin Islands. 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.
Dengue fever in US Virgin Islands
There have been cases of the mosquito-borne virus dengue fever in US Virgin Islands. 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.
Zika in US Virgin Islands
Global Affairs Canada has issued a warning about the risk of contracting Zika in US Virgin Islands. 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 US Virgin Islands. 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.

About US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands was purchased by the United States from the Danes in 1917 and has remained a self-governing territory ever since. A favourite destination for sailors, the islands depend on tourism but also have a small agricultural industry, and Saint Croix had one of the world’s largest oil refineries until it was shut down in 2012.

top Tips for travelling to US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands has glorious beaches and great sailing and snorkelling. You can take a catamaran day trip to Saint John or go night kayaking, or visit the Buck Island National Monument, where you can might be able to see some brown pelicans.