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Travel Tales from Argentina and South America
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?”.
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.
Vaccines for Chile are not the only health recommendation to consider when traveling. Here’s what other tips you should keep in mind:
In Chile there are few diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. However, there are some tick-borne infections. Consider bringing bug spray on your trip.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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