Vaccination and Travel Information for Mexico

MEXICO

 Information current as at:  February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dublin 2 ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.


Climate: Coastal areas and lowlands (tierra caliente) are hot and steamy with high humidity, while the central plateau is temperate year round. The climate of the inland highlands is generally mild, but sharp changes in temperature occur between day and night. The cold lands (tierra fría) lie above 2000m (6600ft). Rainfall varies greatly from region to region. Only the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the state of Chiapas in the far south receive any appreciable amount of rain during the year, with the wet season extending from June until September. All other areas have rainless seasons, while the northern and central areas of the central plateau are dry and arid. There is some snow in the north in winter. The dry season runs from October to May
Capital City: Mexico City
Altitude: 2250 Metres above sea level
Main Cities: Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla
Population: 100,349,766
Land Area (sq km): 1,972,545
Currency: 1 Mexican peso = 100 centavos
Languages: Spanish, other Mayan, Nahuatl, and regional languages
Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%
Economy: manufactured goods, oil and oil products, silver, coffee, cotton



The D2 Medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

CHOLERA Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
DIPHTHERIA We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

HEPATITIS 'A' Immunisation is strongly recommended but not compulsory.


HEPATITIS ‘B’ Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in the area for 1 month or more.
Transmission of Hepatitis B is through sex or contact with contaminated blood, needles and syringes.


POLIO Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.



RABIES Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be staying in rural areas for 1 month or more.


TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not routinely recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt, and this is recommended pre- and post- travel for those going to ‘at risk’ regions.


TETANUS We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

TYPHOID FEVER Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be living in rural areas for 1 month or more.


YELLOW FEVER No vaccination requirements for any international traveller.




Malarial risk, 99% in the benign form P.vivax, exists throughout the year in some rural areas generally in regions that are not frequented by tourists, and at altitudes less than 1000 metres. There is high risk of transmission in the south, especially in the states of Campeche, Chipas, Guerrero, Michoacin, Sinaloa, Tabasco; moderate risk in the states of Chichuahua, Durango, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Sonora and low risk in Campeche, Guerrero, Michoacán and Jalisco. The disease, however, has been eliminated from large urban areas and the major international resorts. No cases of chloroquine-resistant malaria have been reported. Falciparum infections appear to be limited to rain forest areas near the borders with Belize and Guatemala.

There are five common medications for malaria prevention available in Ireland. They are: chloroquine, doxycycline, malarone, mefloquine, paludrine. To determine the appropriate antimalarial, it is advised that the traveller discuss this with a Worldwise Travellers Health Specialist or other Travel Health Professional. None of the medicines are 100% effective against the disease at all times, and each has its own side effects. These need to be discussed with the intending traveller.

 

General Advice on Mosquito Prevention.
Malaria is transmitted by mosquito bite, so recommend all travellers to the country to:

  • cover exposed skin after dusk when they are at most risk for getting bitten
  • use insect repellent with DEET in it.
  • return before dusk from country areas where malarial mosquitoes are the most active
  • sleep in screened room or use a bed net, remembering to tuck in the edges & spray inside.
  • sleep in air conditioned rooms or rooms with fans. Vapour pads and smoke coils also help. Insect buzzers are useless.

Malaria map of Mexico




GENERAL
Adequate medical care can be found in all major cities. Health facilities in Mexico City are excellent. Care in more remote areas is limited. We strongly recommend that all travellers take out adequate comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical treatment, accidents, repatriation, and unexpected losses such as cancelled flights, stolen cash, cards, passports or luggage.

HEALTH, ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The D2 medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.
                                                                                                                                                             DR JOHN J RYAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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