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Travel Tales of Argentina

Posted on 03/04/2021 Welcome to South America
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What vaccines do I need to go to Chile?

In this article we will tell you which are the vaccines that you should get if you want to visit Chile. Spoiler alert: None of them are mandatory, all are recommendations.

When planning a trip to South America, many factors must be taken into account: clothing, weather, stay, money, among many others. But there is an essential aspect in the preparation of your trip: the vaccines and health requirements of each country you will visit. This aspect of the trip is important because some vaccinations must be given in advance and a visit to the doctor is the best option to get rid of doubts.

In this case, if you’re thinking about visiting Chile, you should ask yourself “what vaccines do I need to go to Chile?”. 


Vaccines for Chile

If the basic precautions dictated by common sense are taken, traveling in Chile is not a problem. No special vaccinations are required, although it helps to be up-to-date with routine vaccinations. In temperate South America, mosquito-borne diseases are not usually a problem; most infections are related to the consumption of contaminated food and drink.

By getting vaccinated, we not only protect ourselves, but we also help stop certain diseases from spreading. And although to travel to Chile, there is no mandatory vaccination, it is recommended to be immunized to several viruses. 

Near Santiago de Chile you can visit Valparaíso


Which vaccines are recommended to get for Chile?

VaccineWho needs it?How is it spread?
Hepatitis AIt is a recommended vaccine for most travelersFood and water
Hepatitis BInfants should receive their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series by 6 months of age. All children and adolescents under 19 years of age who have not yet received the vaccine should also be vaccinated.Blood and body fluids
TyphoidIf you get vaccinated for typhoid, the shot lasts 2 years. Food and water
RabiesChile is not a high-risk country but it is recommended that travelers who are going to visit several countries receive this vaccine.Saliva of infected animals
InfluenzaIt is a vaccine that is updated every year. It is recommended especially if you are going to make a trip in winter.Airborne
MeningitisIt can be given to anyone who has not given it before, especially it is recommended for risk groups.Airborne & Direct Contact
PolioIt is a vaccine considered routine for most travelers.Food & Water
ChickenpoxIt should be administered to those travelers who have not had chickenpox.Direct contact & Airborne.


Other health considerations

Vaccines for Chile are not the only health recommendation to consider when traveling. Here’s what other tips you should keep in mind:


Mosquitoes


In Chile there are few diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. However, there are some tick-borne infections. Consider bringing bug spray on your trip.


Water


Tap water is generally safe in cities, but it’s high mineral content can cause an upset stomach; bottled water is suitable for delicate stomachs and in the north.


Corner spider


It is found throughout the country. It is not aggressive, but its venom is very dangerous: it can cause injury, kidney failure, and even death. It measures between 8 and 30 mm (legs included) and is identified by its brown color, violin-shaped spots and by having six eyes. In the event of a bite, apply ice and seek immediate medical attention.

Santiago de Chile is a great city sourrounded by mountains



Bartonellosis (Oroya fever)


It is transmitted by gnats in the arid valleys of the western slopes of the Andes, between 800 and 3000 m of altitude. The main symptoms are fever and severe body aches. Possible complications include acute anemia, enlarged liver and spleen, and sometimes death. It is usually treated with chloramphenicol, although doxycycline is also effective.


Hantavirus


Very serious and rapidly progressing infection transmitted by rodents. At the end of 2010, an outbreak occurred in rural areas of southern and central Chile, and sporadic cases have since been recorded. The disease occurs in people who live in contact with rodent droppings.

Travelers are unlikely to be affected, although those staying in forest areas may be at higher risk. You should never camp in abandoned shelters, where there is a danger of exposure to infected droppings. The safest thing is to set up the tent. Campers going into an area with hantavirus can inquire at the ranger stations.


Altitude sickness


Also known as soroche, the high sea can be produced if you quickly ascend to more than 2500m. Possible symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, malaise, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Severe cases can be complicated by fluid in the lungs (high-altitude pulmonary edema) or swelling of the brain (high-altitude cerebral edema). 

The best treatment for altitude sickness is to go down. If someone has symptoms, they should not ascend, and if the symptoms are severe or persistent, they should descend immediately.

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