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Health Tips
The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Guatemala. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • Hepatitis B, especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • Malaria: if you are traveling to a malaria-risk area in this region, see your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to Central America and Mexico.
  • Rabies, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
  • Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors
  • Yellow fever, for travelers to endemic areas in Panama
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles.

Required Vaccinations: None.

The most common ailment students suffer is diarrhea. Most likely your body is adjusting to the new types of foods and fluids. Avoid greasy or spicy foods and uncooked vegetables and fruits until your body has acclimated. Many travelers get sick because they take chances. Be careful and you can reduce the risk of getting seriously ill. In Antigua, the restaurants, hotels and families depend on tourist dollars and are sensitive to the health standards required. Outside of Antigua, the same precautions are not always taken.

Make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food and waterborne diseases are the primary cause of illness in travelers. Travelers' diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout this region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). has increased in Mexico, infections with Gnathostomiasis (roundworms) has been reported in travelers. Humans become infected by eating undercooked fish or poultry, or reportedly by drinking contaminated water.

We advise you to avoid the following:

  • Tap water or ice that is made from tap water (in Spanish = "agua del chorro").
  • Food from street vendors (meat, sandwiches, tamales, ice cream, etc.).
  • Under-cooked meat, fish, and prepared foods that have been sitting around at room temperature.
  • Raw vegetables and fruits (unless peeled and eaten immediately, or soaked in treated water).
  • Milk and milk products that are not kept refrigerated, including pastries with cream fillings.
  • Remember, your glass should be dry before you fill it, and wipe off the top of cans and bottles.

Always ask if you're in doubt: Is this pure or treated water? = "żEs agua pura?".

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