Recommendations for Travelers going to Mexico 2007-8 Winter.
Winter Travelers staying for a short visit 1-2 weeks inside a destination resort should consider the following:
Tetanus Diphtheria (Td) should be up to date and given every 10 yrs.
Hepatitis A vaccine is also strongly recommended. Hepatitis A is acquired from contaminated food or water and can make people very sick. The vaccine gives protection for 12 months. A second dose, which must be given no sooner than 6 months, will boost this protection to at least 10-20 yrs possibly lifetime.
Hepatitis B is a different virus also causing hepatitis although it is acquired through blood and body fluids. It is more common, easier to catch and kills more people than HIV.
Risk factors for Hepatitis B include: contact with bodily fluids, unclean needles, unprotected sex (although even condoms do not reduce the risk to zero), IV drugs, and blood transfusions. People who will be staying longer than 6 months in countries where Hepatitis B is very high are also recommended to have this vaccine. Hepatitis B should be given in 2 full doses one month apart with a booster dose after 6 months.
All the different brands of Hepatitis A and B are equally effective. Some people prefer the pre mixed vaccine of Twinrex but if they use this one they must receive 2 full doses to be adequately protected against either Hep A or B.
Typhoid is more common in Mexico than in other Caribbean countries and should be considered for longer stays and especially off the beaten path travels.
Two types of vaccines are used:
1) Injectable Typhoid (Typherix or Typhim Vi) is good for 3 years.
2) Oral typhoid (Ty21a) is 4-vaccine capsules, which are taken on days 0,2,4, and 6. Antibiotics and alcohol interfere with the vaccine. This vaccine gives 7 years of coverage.
Dengue fever is a viral illness transmitted by daytime biting mosquitoes. At present there is no good vaccination or treatment. Many parts of Mexico may have dengue. We recommend that you check if the area you are going to has dengue and take appropriate precautions. We recommend good clothing (light loose fitting and covering the limbs), DEET 30% applied to exposed skin, and Permethrin insecticide applied to clothing. Permethrin kills insects on contact but is safe for people.

Malaria is a severe parasite transmitted by night biting mosquitoes. Malaria is not present in common tourist areas but is in many areas of Mexico. There is malaria in the Quinton province (Maya Riviera) but this is far removed from resorts and  vacationers are not at risk. Travels may wish to consult our clinic to check if malaria is present where they will be visiting. If you will be exposed to malaria we strongly recommend appropriate anti malarial medication, which needs to be prescribed before your trip. It is necessary to take anti malarials before exposure. Medication does NOT PREVENT malaria but prevents severe life threatening malaria from happening. We urge anyone who has traveled to a malarious area in the past year to SERIOUSLY CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF MALARIA IN THEMSELVES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY TOOK ANTI MALARIALS OR NOT. We do not treat malaria in our clinic but can make rapid assessments if there is a concern.
Other STDs like HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are present and travelers should use the same precautions as they do at home.
Traveler's Diarrhea is diarrhea caused during travel by exposure to bacteria, viruses and parasites, although traveler's diarrhea is usually referred to the development of extreme symptoms following a bacteria infection. We recommend of course that people be careful what they eat but traveler's diarrhea also happens to those who are careful since they may be infected through another's careless preparation of food. Pepto-Bismol and Imodium may be taken for mild symptoms. We prescribe antibiotics to take at the early stages of traveler's diarrhea. We aim to prevent the loss of fluids and body salts, which will make one very sick in a tropical environment. Travelers having diarrhea starting after their trip may have an intestinal parasite. If you suspect that you may have a parasite check with our clinic.

The vaccine, Dukoral gives 20% of protection against traveler's diarrhea for 3 months.

Department of Foreign Affairs (Mexico Resources)

Updated Feb 6 2006