Chile Travel Vaccines & Advice

Travel clinic Chile

Chile is lying on a long narrow strip of land between the Andes mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. This intriguing South American country will go beyond travelers’ greatest expectations with the diversity of its stunning wild landscapes, its pure starry sky and its highly hospitable population. The arid Atacama desert and its salares inhabited by flamingos contrast with the dramatic scenery of the Andes, the large lakes surrounded by snowy volcanoes, and the picturesque wineries of central Chile. The enigmatic Easter Island and its Moai Statues, located in the South Eastern Pacific Ocean, make Chile even more fascinating.

HEALTH ADVICE FOR TRAVEL TO CHILE

We make every effort to ensure that the information posted on our website is up to date and accurate according to the latest public health recommendations; however, travel health and safety risks in Chile can change daily.

For the most current travel health recommendations for Chile, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.

CHILE – RECOMMENDED VACCINES

Hepatitis ARecommended for all travelers.
Tetanus – Diphtheria – Pertussis VaccineTetanus: In exceptional circumstances (eg, stay in a region where access to health care is limited), for a person aged 18 years or older, 1 dose of DT may be given if 5 years or more has elapsed since the last dose.
Otherwise, one booster dose at the age of 50*.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough):  1 dose is recommended for pregnant women, for every pregnancy, regardless of immunization history and the interval since the last dose (between week 26 and 32).

*Only applicable for Quebec.

Measles – Rubella – MumpsTwo doses recommended for all travelers born after 1970, if not previously given.
RabiesFor travelers at high risk of animal bites or being involved in activities with bats. Clients who plan to visit remote areas may consider receiving this vaccine. Important to note the pre-exposure rabies vaccine is administered in 2 doses with one week interval between doses. Post-exposure vaccination is always recommended, even for those previously vaccinated.
Flu – InfluenzaSeasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing or by touching infected surfaces. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine yearly. Vaccine is recommended 14 days prior to departure.
Routine vaccines (dCaT, Polio, Meningococcal, Shingles, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, HPV, MMR & Varicella)Recommended for all travelers
Typhoid FeverRecommended for most travelers, especially those who are staying with friends or relatives; visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water; or prone to “adventurous eating”
Hepatitis BConsider for most travelers; recommended for those who might be exposed to blood or other body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
Chagas DiseasePresence. All travelers should protect themselves against triatomine bugs.
Traveler’s Diarrhea (ETEC)Talk to your health care professional about the risks and precautionary measures to take, as well as the Dukoral® vaccine. Important to note that the Dukoral vaccine is an oral vaccine given in 2 doses, recommended at least 2 weeks prior to departure.

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS for travel to Chile

Antibiotics for Traveler’s DiarrheaCiprofloxacin, Azithromycin or Suprax.
Acetazolamide/DexaméthasoneRecommended to prevent Acute mountain sickness (AMS).

FOOD AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES IN CHILE

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers’ diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Chile, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Chile. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.

INSECTS AND ILLNESS IN CHILE

In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in Chile. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In Chile, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round.  It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

MALARIA IN CHILE

There is no risk of malaria in Chile.

ANIMALS AND ILLNESS IN CHILE

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

PERSON-TO-PERSON INFECTIONS IN CHILE

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

MEDICAL SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN CHILE

n Chile, it is possible to find very good medical care following Western standards in major cities. It is very easy to obtain an appointment with a doctor in Chile. Numerous English speaking medical professionals are working in the country, and they are usually very well trained. Santiago has some modern and well equipped medical facilities, like the Cli­nica Las Condes and the Cli­nica Alemana. But outside of large cities, it is hard to find reliable medical services.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Contact your insurance company promptly if you have to go to a medical facility for treatment. If you have a pre-existing health condition, carry an up-to-date medical report from a Canadian physician for reference should you need medical treatment in Chile.

Medicines are easily accessible in Chile, as there are numerous pharmacies all across the country. But always bring your personal first aid kit.

AIR POLLUTION IN CHILE

Santiago has one of the highest pollution levels in South America. Heavy smog can pose serious health hazards from May through October.

The ozone layer is especially thin over parts of Chile. Take precautions to protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation.

KEEP IN MIND…

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

SECURITY in Chile

The situation is currently unpredictable and fluid in Chile.

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Emergency services in Chile

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 133
  • medical assistance: 131
  • firefighters: 132