Vaccination and Health Risks
Your doctor can give you important advice and prescribe vaccines and medications to help you stay safe while traveling abroad. The following are vaccinations and medications you and your physician may wish to consider before travel to Costa Rica.
- To have the most benefit, see a doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect. If you are leaving sooner, it is still important to see a doctor as soon as possible for vaccines, medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
- Your doctor will make specific recommendations, depending on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and other factors. If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school.
- If you have a chronic medical condition, share your travel plans with any doctors who are currently treating you.
Vaccine or Disease
Vaccination or Treatment Recommendations
|Routine||Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.|
|Hepatitis A||Recommended because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Costa Rica, regardless of where you are eating or staying.|
|Hepatitis B||Recommended, especially for those who have sexual contact, contaminated needles, blood products, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Not endemic|
|Meningococcal Meningitis||Not endemic|
|Rabies||Recommended for travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites or other animal bites (such as adventure travel and caving), people who will be working with or around animals (such as wildlife professionals and researchers).|
|Yellow Fever||Required for travelers at least 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission (with the exception of Argentina, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago) and for travelers who have been in transit at least 12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.|
This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region. Conditions change over time and the recommendations for various countries at the time you travel may differ from the recommendations listed here. Consult with your doctor or visit the CDC website for specific information related to your needs and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.
Be sure to read the information about all the regions you are planning to visit.