What Health Issues Should I Know about Mexico
If you are preparing to travel to Mexico, there are a few technical things you need to know. For instance, since it is a different country, you will need to have a valid passport. For the same reason, your car insurance is not valid there, and you will need to buy a Mexican insurance policy for the duration of your stay.
However, more important than any of that are the health considerations. There are some health issues which haven’t been rooted out in Mexico like they have in the USA. Furthermore, there are some diseases which prefer the tropical environment of Mexico and other similarly located countries.
Before you leave the country make sure that you are up to date with all the regular vaccines, like MMR, chickenpox, and polio vaccines. This is not specific to Mexico, but traveling can cause your immune system to be compromised which makes it easier for illnesses to attack you.
If you wish, you can take the yearly flu shot as well. However, if you are traveling during a time when it is not a peak flu season, this one may be superfluous. Still, most people will agree that it is better to be safe than sorry.
Tap Water in Mexico
If you haven’t been told by your travel agent, tap water in Mexico is not suitable for drinking. Even the locals don’t drink it due to the high probability of contracting some disease. At best, you may end up with diarrhea, but other options are much more serious.
Illnesses like Hepatitis A and Typhoid can be transmitted through the water. The outbreaks are much more common in smaller towns and villages than in big cities and tourist resorts, but they can still occur, so be careful what you eat and drink, and where.
Malaria Can Be an Issue
Like most tropic and subtopic countries, Mexico has malaria problems. The mosquitos which carry the malaria germ are hard to eradicate, which is why locals try their best to avoid getting bitten in the first place as the best strategy, and you would do well to follow in their footsteps.
Even though you may be tempted to wear a minimal amount of clothes in the warm weather, you should cover as much of your skin with light clothes. If you want to improve the repelling effect of your clothes, you may treat them with permethrin; just make sure that you do not use it on your skin. For your skin, you can use the appropriate insect repellant. Any well-known brand should be fine.
When it comes to sleeping, there are two things which can help you get through the night without much problem. The first is using a sleeping net, which is the most effective protection from the pesky mosquitos. The other one is to sleep in well air conditioned rooms because insects are much more likely to enjoy the warm weather.
Rabies shouldn’t be much of a problem if you are staying in bigger cities. However, if you are intent on exploring the unbeaten tracks like jungles, ancient ruins, and caves, this illness becomes a real possibility. The rabies virus is typically transmitted by dogs and other feral animals, but the most common host for this nasty parasite are bats. Seeing how there are numerous types of bats in Mexico, including the infamous vampire bats, you should be careful.
Even though it may seem that Mexico is dangerous and full of various illnesses, all of these illnesses can be found in the USA and other countries as well. The only difference is the health care you will have access to, so heed the old proverb – better be safe than sorry.