Health Advice, Travel Info
Before journeying to Nicaragua there are certain health precautions that you should consider in order for you to remain healthy and enjoy your vacation to the fullest. We trust that this health advice for Nicaragua's travelers will be useful. This health advice for Nicaragua is divided into sections for quick reference and your convenience.
Certain vaccinations are recommended for anyone wishing to visit Nicaragua. You should ensure that all your routine vaccinations have been done and are up to date. Visit your health care specialist before traveling to Nicaragua for vaccinations against yellow fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and typhoid. If you are touring areas where you may come into contact with animals, it is advisable to receive a rabies vaccination.
Diseases transmitted by insects
Malaria is endemic to Nicaragua and is particularly prevalent in low-lying areas. Prophylaxis is important for those traveling to rural areas and around Managua. Consult your health care specialist for the best prophylactic regimen for you. In general, choloroquine is the drug of choice. This medication is taken at a 500mg dosage once a week, at least two weeks before arriving and for a further four weeks thereafter. Possible side-effects of choloroquine can be headaches, dizziness, itching, gastrointestinal problems and blurred vision. However these hardly ever occur. During the rainy season in Nicaragua, dengue fever outbreaks often occur. It is therefore vital that travelers protect themselves from mosquito bites. To protect yourself from insects and ticks it is advisable to wear long pants, sleeves and boots when trekking through rural and wilderness areas. A variety of insect repellents are available on the market. Ask the pharmacist for assistance when selecting an appropriate repellent. Repellents can be applied to the skin and to clothing. A bed net is also a good idea as are mosquito coils. When returning from a day trip it is wise to make a thorough check for ticks. Prompt removal of ticks should help you guard against tick-borne diseases.
Food and water
This is another vital aspect of health advice for Nicaragua as taking in bad food and water can really put a dampener on your holiday. All water, even tap water, should be boiled, filtered or disinfected with chemicals. It is best to purchase bottled water. Fruit and vegetables should preferably be peeled or cooked. Watch out for unpasteurized milk and milk products. Avoid uncooked fish or meat. Seafood that may contain toxins are barracuda, amberjack, sea bass and red snapper. It is a good idea to carry an anti-diarrheal medicine.
If you are on prescription drugs it is vital to bring sufficient supplies with you. Keep medication in its original container and bring along a letter from your physician stating your medical conditions and the medications you require.
Each department in Nicaragua has its own public hospital. Public hospitals will not charge you for emergency services, but you will have to pay for medication and supplies. Managua has some ten private clinics. It is a very good plan to take out complete health insurance before starting your travels.