Health Information for Caribbean

The Caribbean consists of a vast archipelago of islands divided into two distinct regions: the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The warm and tropical climate is characterized by a dry season and a rainy season, during which traveling is not advised. Whatever the destination, no drastic health precautions need to be taken, but stay alert at all times.
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Whether you are traveling to a dream location like Punta Cana in the Greater Antilles or Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles, it is recommended to be up to date with the universal vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, hepatitis B and hepatitis A in case of an extended stay. Please note that if vaccination against yellow fever is required to travel to French Guiana, it is only recommended for Trinidad and Tobago. Finally, vaccination against rabies is recommended whatever your destination.

Preventing infectious and parasitic diseases in Caribbean

Regarding insect-borne diseases, mosquitoes are present everywhere in the Caribbean archipelago. As they are vectors of dengue, malaria, chikungunya, Zika virus, etc., some precautions need to be taken at all times:

  • Prefer clothes that cover your skin ;
  • Pack anti-mosquito skin protection and sprays for clothes that are formulated for tropical countries ;
  • Sleep under a mosquito net.

Preventive drug treatments against malaria may also be prescribed. Ask your doctor. Some infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and cholera (Greater Antilles) are still present. It is therefore necessary to check if you are up to date with your BCG immunization. AIDS is rampant in the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. Remember to protect yourself!

Finally, traveler’s diarrhea, also known as turista, is a classic ailment of the traveler. To avoid any risk of digestive problems, it is imperative to take good food hygiene precautions, especially during a stay in the Greater Antilles.

Be sure to:

  • Only drink sealed bottled water ;
  • Do not consume ice cubes ;
  • Prefer cooked and pasteurized dairy products ;
  • Only eat peeled and cooked vegetables ;
  • Only eat meat or fish that has been well cooked.
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