Mexico        Rêve Mexicain en français
Health in Mexico
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
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Vaccinations for Mexico

Vaccinations are not required but taking some precautions will eliminate serious health risks for the foreign visitor.
Consulting with the Pasteur Institute www.pasteur.fr (in French and English) as well as Travel Health Online www.tripprep.com for recommendations would be helpful.
The latest bird flu and chikungunya pandemics have created new health alarms. It is essential that you consult with your doctor or one of the Hospitals or Institutes that specialize in travel health.
You need to know that in Mexico, travelers could get infections linked to food and drinks as well as mosquitoes. So, be careful what you eat and drink and bring a good mosquito repellent.
Think of vaccinations as useful and necessary even though they may not be mandatory. Some health centers recommend vaccinations to protect against typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, tetanus and polio. Mosquitoes are virulent in some places (Chiapas, Yucatán). Don’t under estimate malaria and hepatitis. Some cases of cholera have also been noticed in the last few years (protection with a shot is not reliable, though).

Listing of some health centers :

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : CDC 800-232-4636 - (888) 232 6348 - www.cdc.gov.

Travel Medicine & vaccination Center, 1075 Marine Dr, Suite 203, North Vancouver, BC V7P, (604) 681 5656.
Medisys Travel Health Clinic, 1111 West Hastings St. 15th Floor, Vancouver, BC V6E 2J3, (604) 669 8188, www.medisys.ca
Ottawa Travel Clinic, Suite 201, 2446 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1V 1A4, (613) 739 0998.
Health Travel-voyage Medisys, 500 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, 11th Floor, Montreal- QC H2X 3H9, (514) 499 2772, (514) 845 4842, www.medisys.ca.
Center Health-Travel of Quebec, 1000 Chemin Ste-Foy, local 304, Quebec, QC G1S 2L6, (418) 688 5621, (418) 688 3249.

The Travel Clinic, 194 Uxbridge Rd, Shepards Bush, London, W12 7JP, 0208 749 9724.

Tropical Medical Bureau, 15 Grattan Crescent, Inchicore , Dublin 8, 353 (01) 473 40 30, inchicore@tmb.ie, www.tmb.ie. Consult their website for the different contacts (phones and electronic mails).


France, in Paris
Centre de Vaccinations International Air France : 148 rue de l'université, 75007 Paris, (33) 01 43 17 22 00, info@vacciantions-airfrance.fr, www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr/

Centre médical de l ‘Institut Pasteur, 209- 211 rue de Vaugirard 75015 Paris, 0 890 710 811 - www.pasteur.fr/ip/easysite/pasteur/en.

toucan in Mexico The yellow fever shot (one shot is good for 10 years) is mandatory only if you are coming from a yellow fever-infected area (parts of Africa and South America). The more off beat places you’ll visit, the more precautions you’ll need to take. Insect and mosquito repellent is indispensable while visiting rural areas in Chiapas and Yucatán. Mosquitoes could transmit malaria in these areas. Consult your doctor before leaving. Mosquitoes can also spread dengue fever in southern and central states but the mosquitoes can’t live at an elevation over 1200 m. There is neither immunization, nor antiviral treatment for this. Don’t take aspirin but paracetamol.

      Right picture : toucan in Mexico

Hepatitis : General term to design an inflammation of the liver: fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains are the main symptoms. The skin as well as the whites of the eyes becomes yellow.

Hepatitis A :
It is the most widespread and the first most common disease of the traveler after malaria. It is transmitted by contaminated food or water or by contact with a contaminated person. One shot for an adult (2 for children) protects you for a 6-12 month period. A second shot after this period will protect you for 10 more years. Don’t forget this second shot whatever your travel projects are. The protection is effective 4 weeks after the first shot.
Hepatitis B :
It is spread through sexual contact or contact with infected blood, or exposure to an infected person’s blood via cuts, open sores, needle sharing, razor sharing or ear piercing tools. The protection is a vaccination series: 3 shots one month apart and a booster one year later and another one every 5 years. Or 2 shots one month apart followed by another shot 6 months later and a booster every 5 years. The protection is maximum 3 months after the first shot. You are advised to get your first shot 6 months before leaving.
Today, there is a combined vaccination that protects against both Hepatitis A and B. The vaccination series is: 2 shots one month apart followed by another one 6 months later. Be aware if you are ready to leave that the protection is reliable 4 weeks after the first shot.
Typhoid fever :
It is a bacterial infection by ingestion of contaminated food or drinks. Vaccination consists of one shot every 3 years. The protection is effective 3 weeks later but the vaccination is not completely reliable.

Risks in Mexico

Be careful of the risks linked to the altitude, climate, jet lag and air pollution especially in Mexico City and Guadalajara. Don’t waste your trip ! People with heart or breathing problems should consult their physician before going to Mexico City or anywhere at high elevation. Remember : 50% of Mexican territory is at 1500m (5000 feet) elevation or more. Observe a minimum of everyday hygiene. Wash your hands as often as you can. Tap water is not drinkable in every city. You will easily find bottled water. Be sure they are sealed. Drink a lot of water, especially when in altitude.


Mexico City and the other big cities have good private as well as public hospitals even if the private ones seem better than the public ones. Here is a listing of the most recognized in Mexico City :

American British Hospital - ABC hospital- Sur # 136 Esquina Observatorio, Col.Tacubaya , (55) 52 30 80 00 or (55) 52 30 81 61 or 62 (emergencies).
Hospital ESPANOL - Ejercito Nacional # 613, Col.Polanco  (55) 52 55 96 00 ou 96 60.
Hospital Metropolitano, Tlacotalpan # 51, Colonia Roma   (55) 52 65 19 00.
Clinica Londres - Durango # 50, Col.Roma  (55) 52 29 84 00.

A stay in a hospital in Mexico costs about 15 000 mxn $/ day. You need to know that Mexican hospitals won’t accept patients without financial warranty. You could be asked to sign a blank credit card voucher even if you are covered by insurance. Check to see if your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the country and contract medical evacuation insurance before leaving.

You can find pharmacies open 24/24 in every city in Mexico.

A doctor visit costs about 300 mxn $. Don’t hesitate to ask information at your embassy or consulate for addresses.

US citizens can consult the US Department of State web site : www.state.gov/travel/index.htm.

A website about rare diseases (in several languages) : www.orpha.net


Montezuma revenge

The "Montezuma Revenge" is a nice way used by Mexicans to talk about the digestive problem, so frequent to travelers. You can say also “turista” or “taco tummy”. The problem is due to the sensitivity of travelers to the brutal changes in their environment. The water seems to disturb the natives as well, judging by the quantity of purified water they buy every day. If you don’t want to spend money on bottled water, think of using chemical disinfecting tablets to purify the water. Avoid ice cubes except in the upscale restaurants and hotels where they are made with purified water. You could bring some medicine as prevention or buy them at a local pharmacy. Generally speaking, drink a lot of bottled water and avoid spiced food, raw sauces and crudités. As prevention, you could eat papaya on a regular basis (with lemon and/or sugar if you don’t like the taste).

green pepper
      Right picture : green pepper


NB : the diabete is the main reason of the mortality in Mexico






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