Prepare for the trip
Health Information for South America
The continent of South America comprises 26 countries. Sanitary conditions and health risks vary from one destination to another. Travel insurance is suggested to cover possible medical costs, as well as hospitalization and repatriation expenses.
Which vaccines are needed to travel to South America?
In order to travel safely, it is imperative to be up to date on all universal vaccinations (polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, BCG and ROR), regardless of your specific destination in South America.
Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for French Guiana and strongly recommended for all other countries in South America (including for young children over 9 months old). It is also required if you have previously traveled to, or had a layover in, the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Vaccination against hepatitis A and B, leptospirosis, typhoid and rabies is strongly recommended.
Preventing infectious and parasitic diseases in South America
While traveling anywhere in South America, it is important to be highly vigilant about diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as yellow fever, malaria, dengue, chikungunya and zika.
Carefully observe the following preventive measures:
- Wear clothing that covers exposed skin ;
- Treat textiles with insecticides ;
- Use appropriate skin repellents ;
- Sleep under mosquito nets and use air conditioning.
The H1N1 flu is present in some countries. Follow regular hygiene measures in order to limit the risk of transmission, such as:
- Regularly wash your hands ;
- Use disposable tissues ;
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes ;
- Avoid contact with sick people.
If symptoms develop, see a doctor and get an antiviral treatment.
Lastly, follow all standard precautions to avoid risk of sexually transmitted diseases.