Health Concerns for Travelers
Costa Rica is classified as a healthy country with common indicators revealing an excellent life expectancy (78 years) and a low infant mortality rate (10 per 1,000 live births). Stable socio-economic growth is demonstrated by the fact that the top health concerns are heart disease and cancer, similar to developed countries and dissimilar to surrounding Central American neighbors who still struggle with poverty and malnutrition.
However, being in a tropical country (only ten degrees north of the equator), there are certain risks, albeit limited, that both locals and tourists face. As with many diseases, most are avoidable. Being armed with the correct information and subsequently adhering to the guidelines there is little doubt that visitors can avoid taking ill.
Perhaps the most important detail for any traveler coming to Costa Rica , especially ones that are going to be visiting sub-tropical areas is BRING MOSQUITO REPELLENT!
Not throughout but in some areas of Costa Rica, there are Dengue mosquitoes which cause Dengue Fever, symptoms are similar to a strong flu but usually it is not a serious illness. It is a reality but in no way can be classified as an epidemic in Costa Rica .
That being said, and although the Costa Rican Health Department has started to run constant and directed eradication campaigns, since the Dengue mosquito is present in some areas of Costa Rica , there are a few preventative measures worth keeping in mind:
- The Dengue mosquito prefers to bite during day light hours; its peak times are the first hours after daybreak and from late afternoon through dusk. Always apply a good repellent during these times.
- The Dengue mosquito is more often to be present during the months of heavy rain due to increases in the mosquito population, specifically during September and October one should take more precaution.
- The Dengue mosquito likes old and dirty water; the government recommendation is not to store water outside for a long time. If you see collected, dirty water, avoid being in that area!
- The Dengue mosquito does not like the taste of mosquito repellent so be liberal when applying!
We would like to mention while possibly beach and rain forest areas are more likely to be affected with Dengue, there have not been any cases of Dengue this year in Flamingo Beach proper. There were a few sporadic cases in some surrounding areas but these could have easily been avoided if the proper guidelines were followed.
So remember, at all times (and especially during peak biting times during the day through months September and October) .BRING AND APPLY REGULARLY A GOOD INSECT REPELLENT!
For additional details please reference the Center for Disease Control website for health travel recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/