Vaccines for Costa Rica

Find out more information about the special vaccines you have to get before travelling to Costa Rica

In relation to vaccines, it is advisable to have the official calendar of vaccination up to date, but, really, the only demanded vaccine is that one against the yellow fever, but only for those travellers that come from an endemic zone or that have been in some of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guayana.

Vaccines for Costa Rica

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Cautions in relation to the latest health alerts:

Dengue fever: It is an endemic illness from Costa Rica transmitted through the aedes aegypti mosquito’s bite. Its symptoms are high temperature, skin rashes, headache, joint and muscles pain while its incubation period is long, lasting between 3 and 15 days, so you can develop the disease at home. If you suspect you are infected, please, get medical advice.

Once in Costa Rica, the only caution you can take is avoiding mosquitoes’ bites using insect repellent and wearing clothes with long sleeves or trousers, in areas of high transferability (Guanacaste and Puntarenas). It is also recommended to sleep with insect screens. You must take into account that the most dangerous months are those of the wet season (from May to November).  

Chikungunya fever: In July 2014, it was confirmed the first case of Chikungunya fever in Costa Rica that is transmitted by aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus mosquitoes. You must take the same cautions as with the dengue fever, so it is better to avoid mosquitoes’ bites and be vigilant to symptoms like a body temperature higher than 39º or more, severe pain or joint swelling, headache or muscle pain, skin rashes on body trunk and extremities, fatigue, sickness, vomiting and conjunctivitis.    

Zika: Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) included Costa Rica in a list of countries with autochthonous transmission of the Zika virus. It is transmitted like the dengue fever, by aedes aegypti mosquito’s bites and its symptoms are slight fever, general malaise, rashes and skin irritation. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid mosquitoes’ bites while, due to health campaigns, it is compulsory to fill up an application to verify that you are not infected.

Although being bitten is the easiest way to get infected, there are other transmission modes such as sexual, blood-borne, and mother-to-child transmission. The most alarming one is mother-to-child transmission, if you are planning to get pregnant or you are already pregnant, the WHO recommends not to travel to countries with Zika presence. It is proved that Zika can penetrate placentas and infect babies causing terrible and irreversible congenital malformations.     

Learn more on the latest health alerts in the list of webs below:

Pan-American Health Organizaton (PAHO): http://www.paho.org/hq/?lang=es

World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int/en/

Costa Rican Ministry of Health: https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/

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