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Guatemala Health Care and Vaccinations

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from countries with infected areas.

Title Special precautions
Yellow Fever No*
Typhoid Yes
Tetanus Yes
Rabies Sometimes
Malaria Sometimes
Hepatitis A Yes
Diphtheria Sometimes

Health Care

There are both public and private medical facilities in Guatemala City, but state-run hospitals tend to be under-funded and can be unhygienic. Private clinics should be used where possible. Medical care outside of the capital is more limited. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is strongly advised. Travellers should carry evidence of their insurance at all times, as doctors may be reluctant to treat them otherwise.

Food and Drink

The tap water in Guatemala is not safe to drink and water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Bottled water is recommended. Milk may be unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other Risks

The tap water in Guatemala is not safe to drink and water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Bottled water is recommended. Milk may be unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Other risks: Vaccinations are sometimes advised for tuberculosis and hepatitis B. There is a risk of malaria in rural, lowland areas such as Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, El Petén and San Marcos, and anti-malarial drugs should be considered. Take appropriate action to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, especially between dusk and dawn. Dengue fever is endemic in Guatemala, also contracted through mosquitoes. Affected areas include Escuintla, the Pacific coast towns, Zacapa and Petén. Rabies occurs; if you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. There are also often outbreaks of cholera in the country, although this rarely affects travellers. Avoid touching animals as rabies is widespread, and in case of being bitten get medical help immediately.