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Travel Health » Colombia

Colombia : Travel Health

WARNING! This information is out-dated and likely to be inaccurate!

Researching Travel Plans

Please note that this health information about Colombia may be out-of-date. Always research the current health conditions and issues in any region you plan to visit prior to departure.

Infectious Diseases and Medical Concerns for Colombia

The following medical diseases or health concerns are more common in travel to Colombia (compared to the USA and other areas of the Western World):

More Common Diseases and Medical Concerns for Colombia

The following health concerns or diseases are more commonly found in Colombia compared to the USA and other areas of the Western World:

Less Common Diseases and Health Concerns for Colombia

The following health concerns or medical diseases are less commonly found in Colombia compared to the USA and other areas of the Western World:

  • Coccidioidomycosis / Valley fever - only if involved in soil disturbing activities e.g. construction, mining, agriculture etc
  • Bartonellosis - avoid sandfly bites

Vaccinations for Travel to Colombia

The following medical vaccinations are desirable or helpful for travel to Colombia to prevent contagious diseases in Colombia:

  • hepatitis A - or immune globulin (IG)
  • hepatitis B - if risk of exposure to blood/bodily fluid or medical treatment or if your stay will be longer than 6 months then all infants and children 11-12 years who did not complete the series as infants
  • rabies - if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation
  • typhoid
  • yellow fever - if going outside urban areas
  • tetanus - booster dose as needed
  • diphtheria - booster dose as needed
  • measles - booster dose as needed

Preventions or Health Precautions for Travel to Colombia

Any health risk of travel to Colombia may be reduced by the following precautionary health measures when visiting Colombia:

  • Take your malaria prevention medication before/during/after travel as directed
  • high rate of motor vehicle trauma - avoid night driving and wear seatbelts
  • mosquito bite prevention
  • insect bite protection
  • avoid drinking non-treated water - only drink bottled or canned water
  • eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself
  • keep feet clean and dry - help prevent parasitic infections
  • do not go barefoot - help prevent parasitic infections
  • always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • don't eat food purchased from street vendors
  • don't drink beverages with ice
  • don't share needles with anyone
  • don't handle animals (especially monkeys/dogs/cats) - to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague - risk for travelers is small)
  • don't swim in fresh water. Salt water is usually safer
  • volcanic activity, Earthquakes, torrential rains and mudslides may occur - take care and heed local precautions

Other Relevant Issues for Travel to Colombia

The following may be issues relevant to travel to Colombia:

  • high level medical care where facilities are comparable to other industrialised countries are is available in Bogota, facilities outside major cities are substandard
  • HIV status must be declared
  • there may be consular warnings against travel to the country
  • check latest advice for updates

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