Food and Drink, Healthcare, Mexico Essentials

Staying Healthy in Mexico

When visitors to Mexico fall ill, in most cases it’s due to heat exhaustion, altitude sickness, a lack of hydration—or a combination of these

Staying Hydrated in the sun

Statistics published by foreign consulates demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of foreign visits to Mexico pass by trouble-free. Health problems, when they arise, tend to stem from a small group of ailments which are related to the body’s adjustments of climate and local environment.

Contrary to some urban myths, Mexico’s tourism centers and public eating places are remarkably hygienic places to enjoy good food and drink. The Mexican government spends millions of dollars annually ensuring that food establishments are properly equipped and managed; it provides training courses for businesses serving food and drinks in Mexico, and imposes penalties on establishments which fall short of the high standards now required as part of regular sanitary inspections.

When visitors to Mexico fall ill, in most cases it’s due to heat exhaustion, altitude sickness, a lack of sufficient hydration or, most usually, a combination of these. The effects often manifest as upset stomachs, headaches, dizziness and sunburn (or, in severe cases, heatstroke). Contaminated food and water are usually the exceptional cause of illness, even though they are the universally-popular ‘whipping boy’ when people fall ill on vacation.

Most people traveling to Mexico do not get vaccinated for the trip; and in the majority of cases, vaccination is not necessary. In some circumstances visitors choose to vaccinate themselves, for example, if they plan to visit highly remote areas, travel through one of Mexico’s jungles, or explore caves. The issue about whether to vaccinate or not comes down to a personal choice, and our travel health guide discusses this in some detail.

Private medical treatment in Mexico is excellent. All treatments must be paid for, so you should carry adequate travel and medical insurance for your visit, or else be prepared to pay for any and all treatments (which may include clinic/hospital stays) should you need them. Minor treatments and medications are very affordable in Mexico, although major incidents requiring hospitalization or evacuation can be very costly. We recommend that all visitors and part-time residents arrive adequately insured and that long-term residents avail themselves of a good health insurance policy.

Our Mexico Travel Health Guide gives you a thorough overview of the key health considerations you need to take into account when you are planning a visit or part-time relocation to Mexico; and for those who want a more thorough understanding of longer term healthcare options in Mexico, connect to the Healthcare Section.

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