Health problems sometimes affect visitors to Mexico. For the most current information on immunizations and heath risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains an international travelers hotline at 1-888-232-3228. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization
When traveling to Mexico, immunizations are recommended against typhoid, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Booster shots for tetanus-diphtheria and measles are also recommended. For visitors coming directly from the United States, no immunization certification is required to enter Mexico. If you are traveling from a part of the world infected with yellow fever, a vaccination certificate is required.
Malaria is found in some rural areas of Mexico, particularly those near the southwest coast. Travelers to malarial areas should consult their physician and take the recommended dosage of chloroquine, mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone™) or other anti-malarial medication. Although these preventative drugs are not considered necessary for travelers to the major resort areas on the Pacific and Gulf coasts, travelers to those areas should use insect repellent and take other personal protection measures to reduce contact with mosquitoes, particularly from dusk to dawn when malaria transmission is most likely. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats, and, use insect repellents that contain DEET.
Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for 20 minutes. Beware of ice cubes that may not have been made with purified water. Vegetables and fruits should be peeled or washed in a purifying solution. If you can't peel it or cook it, do NOT eat it. Don't eat food purchased from street vendors. Don't eat dairy products unless you know for a fact that they have been pasteurized. Diarrhea sufferers may benefit from anti-microbial treatment that may be prescribed or purchased over the counter. Travelers should consult a physician, rather than attempt self-medication, if the diarrhea is severe or persists several days.
In some places, particularly at resorts, medical costs can be as high or higher than in the United States. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer Mexico Travel Insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations. If your insurance policy does not cover you in Mexico, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a policy that does. Short-term health insurance policies designed specifically to cover travel are available.
Medical facilities in Mexico differ from those in the United States. Adequate medical care can be found in all major cities. There are some excellent health facilities in Mexico City. Some remote areas or coastal islands may have few or no medical facilities. For these reasons, in addition to medical insurance that you can use in Mexico, consider obtaining insurance or joining a medical assistance program to cover the very high cost of medical evacuation in the event of an accident or serious illness. As part of the coverage, these programs usually offer emergency consultation by telephone. They may refer you to the nearest hospital or call for help on your behalf; they may translate your instructions to a health care worker on the scene. The cost of medical evacuation coverage is minimal for a trip of 30 days. Without this insurance, medical evacuation can cost thousands of dollars.
When making decisions regarding health insurance, consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that medical air evacuation to the U.S. may cost over $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expense that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
If you become seriously ill, U.S. consular officers can assist in finding a doctor and in notifying your family and friends about your condition.
The U.S. government cannot pay to have you medically evacuated to the United States.
For a list of Travel Services such as Medical Air Evacuation or Mexico Travel Insurance Click Here
See Also: Mexico Tourist Information
See Also: Health and Medical Directory