Medical Information re: Guatamala Mission Trip 2017
Location: Panajachel, Guatemala
Sponsoring Agency: Mayan Families
Elevation: 5,125 ft— 5,240 ft (just under one mile high)
Vaccinations/Preparations to be made in advance:
(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of State have informed the following recommendations.)
Make sure you are up to date with regular vaccines (MMR, TdaP, Varicella, Influenza).
Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines are needed (both diseases can be contracted in Guatemala through contaminated food or water). It is recommended that you receive two doses of Hep A vaccine 6 months apart so the first vaccine should be received ASAP. Only one dose of Typhoid vaccine is adequate to provide protection. As is true with any vaccine, it takes two weeks to develop the necessary antibodies to protect agains illness, so waiting until a few days before travel is unwise.
Malaria prevention: Malaria is contracted through the bite of a mosquito so the most important prevention strategy is to wear repellent and avoid mosquito bites. Additionally, if you so choose, prescription medication can be taken before, during, and after the trip. Please speak with your own doctor re: whether or not this is sensible for you/your child.
Zika virus risk in Guatemala:
Travel notice dated 10/17/2016: Level 2 (of 3 levels) Alert : recommendation that travelers to the area protect themselves from mosquito bites. Mosquitos do not live at elevations above 6,500 feet (we will be at approx. 5,200) – Zika risk is minimal at these high elevations.
There is currently no zika vaccine available. There is nothing on the horizon here.
Zika can also be transmitted through sexual activity. The most up-to-date recommendation from the CDC for women is to refrain from sexual intercourse for 8 weeks from possible exposure or first Zika symptom. The recommendation for men is to refrain from sexual intercourse for 6 months from possible exposure or first Zika symptom. Once a person has been infected with Zika, the antibodies that develop as a result of infection will protect them from future infection.
Travel Clinics in our area:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard – Travel Clinic
110 Francis Street
Lowry Office Building GB
Boston, MA, 02215
Telephone: (617) 632-7706
Traveler’s Health Service
Tufts Medical Center
800 Washington St., Box #7010
Boston, MA, 02111
Telephone: (617) 636-7010
1515 Commercial Street
Weymouth, MA 02189
Telephone: (866) 389-2727
Minute Clinic (Tracy runs this clinic Mondays and Tuesdays)
189 Summer Street
Kingston, MA 02364
Telephone: (866) 389-2727