Prepare for the trip
Health information for North America
North America, with its 24 million km2, is the third largest continent in the world. Sanitary conditions and treatment quality are relatively close to those found in Europe when it comes to Canada, the United States and Greenland. More vigilance will be required in Mexico.
Which vaccines are needed to travel to North America?
No vaccine is obligatory to travel to North America, however the usual vaccination schedule (diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles) is recommended.
Hepatitis A is rare in North America and thus vaccination is only considered justified for Hawaii and recommended for Mexico and Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon.
Hepatitis B and typhoid fever must be taken into consideration in case of a long stay in Hawaii, Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon and Mexico.
The rabies vaccine is recommended when traveling in areas where bats are prevalent.
Preventing infectious and parasitic diseases in North America
The risk of contracting an infectious disease in North America (Canada, United States) is low. Nevertheless, it is recommended for fans of fresh water activities to consult their physician before leaving. Vaccination may be proposed against leptospirosis.
In certain regions of Mexico, the water and foods may carry diseases (cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis A). It is thus a good idea to exclusively consume drinks from sealed bottles and only eat peeled or cooked foods.
Mosquitoes, which can carry diseases, are encountered often in North America, especially in marshy areas. Steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Wear clothes that fully cover your body ;
- Protect yourself with suitable anti-mosquito products ;
- Sleep under a mosquito net when in tropical destinations.
No precautions need to be taken against malaria, as the disease is not encountered in that part of the world.
Ticks, which are notably found in the United States and Canada, can transmit various infections. A thorough inspection of the body is recommended after each trek.
Finally, keep in mind that all North American countries have omnipresent natural expanses that host a particularly rich fauna. It is strongly advised to avoid all contact with animals.