Important Health Information for When You Travel to Costa Rica

When you plan to travel to Costa Rica, there are certain health checks that you need to do. There are several diseases that you could contract during your travels and you need to be vaccinated before you go there. Some of the vaccinations may not be necessary if you got the shots during childhood. The general diseases vaccinations that you usually get during infancy and childhood include polio, tetanus and diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox.

If you were vaccinated as a child, you won’t need to be vaccinated again, however, some of the diseases may require a booster shot. Influenza is also considered a routine vaccination and you should make sure if you had it or not. Despite these general vaccinations, you should get vaccinated for the following diseases as well:

Hepatitis A – This is a viral disease that is transmitted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Vaccines are effective as a prevention measure.

Hepatitis B – This is also a viral disease and is transmitted through blood, blood products, and bodily fluids. The vaccine is a good measure for prevention, but after an incident or high-risk situation, you should get yourself checked. If you are planning a long stay overseas or travel frequently, you definitely need to get this shot.

Rabies – Rabies is a fatal viral disease with no treatment or cure once symptoms start. It is strongly recommended that you take this shot if you spend long periods of time in Costa Rica and South America. If you work with or come in contact with animals, the rabies vaccine is non-negotiable.

Typhoid – Typhoid fever can be contracted because of unsanitary conditions. If you will be spending time in places where environmental sanitation and personal hygiene is not great, you need to be vaccinated against typhoid.

Cholera – Vaccination for cholera is not generally necessary or recommended. The risk of contraction is low and there is an oral vaccine that is very effective. The oral vaccine can be taken by people like traveling doctors or other health care workers.

Malaria – Malaria is considered a low-risk disease in Costa Rica due to the large amount of other and deadly diseases that are a danger. To be safe, get malaria prevention medication before your travels. You usually need to get it a few days or weeks before you leave.

Dengue Fever – This is a viral disease that doesn’t have a vaccine yet, but is not deadly. It occurs widely in tropical countries, including Costa Ria. It is caused by day-biting mosquitoes and the best way to prevent getting it is preventing mosquito bites.

To make sure that you are fully prepared, visit a travel doctor to make sure you are good to go when it comes to vaccinations and health issues. Keep health documents like your vaccination card, insurance, health history, and your doctor’s contact information with you at all times.