hotel in costa rica

Staying healthy

pineappleOur advice is meant for healthy travelers.
We advise pregnant women and people taking (heavy) medication to ask your doctor for further advice.
We also advise you to request updated information at the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and to follow the advice from the Embassy of  your home country.

Pregnant women
In tropical countries there are illnesses that could influence the healthy grow of the baby. Because the first three months of the pregnancy are so important for the formation of the unborn child it is perhaps a good idea to postpone your trip to a tropical country.
The Zika virus can be a risk, though there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that there is a connection between Zika virus and microencefalia.

Preparation
Vaccinations are not mandatory in Costa Rica.
If you have been for 24 hours or longer in Panama, Colombia or other countries where yellow fever exists (changing airplanes at the airport does not count), you have to prove that you have a vaccination against yellow fever.
Vaccinations against DTP and Hepatitus A&B are being advised. Ask your doctor or a center specialized in advice for voyages to tropical countries.
No vaccinations exist for Dengue, Zika or Chikungunya.
Malaria is practically non-existent in Costa Rica.

mosquitoZika, Chikungunya and Dengue virus and Malaria
These four illnesses have been known in tropical countries for a long time.
Zika-, Chikungunya- and Dengue- virus are found in places where hygiene is not a priority. Empty cans, rubbish and old car-tires are the ideal hatching places for the larvae of this mosquito. The illness is being transferred by the Aedes Aegypte mosquito, and it has to live in an area where there is Zika, Chikungunya or Dengue virus. First this mosquito has to sting somebody with the illness, to be able to transfer it to the next person being stung by this mosquito.
The mosquito has a living area of 300 – 500 meters.

Zika: is a mild illness. One out of every four persons get really sick for 2 – 7 days. Fever, skin rash, eye-infection, sore muscles are some of the symptoms.
Dengue comes in various gradations, from a few days till a longer period. The symptoms are: fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, sore muscles, nausea.
Chikungunya
 starts with fever and painful joints, after that headache, skin rash. Healing may take a long time.
Malaria: is almost non-existent in Costa Rica, unless you are planning a long-term visit to inhospitable Indian reserves far away in the inland, where tourists almost never come. In those areas malaria is found sporadically, in 2013 there were 7 cases, all people living in that area. Malaria is being transferred by the malaria mosquito.
There is a medicine to prevent getting malaria. However, it is expensive and not without risk. You should better stay away from those areas.

Mosquitos
Everywhere in Costa Rica there are mosquitos. They are mostly active just before or after sunset. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is also active during day time. In areas with a lot of water there are more mosquitos, especially in areas of 500 meters around not-flowing water. Mosquitos hate wind, and are looking for warm, dark, sheltered places, e.g. under a table, or in the woods. So ventilate your bedroom with open windows and put the fan on.

Not only deet helps against mosquitos, they also absolutely hate the smell of Vicks. You remember, the stuff you had to rub on your chest when you were a child. Mosquitos do like nice smells you use, such as deodorant, smelling shampoos and shower gel. So use neutral soap and deodorant. Hotelrooms with a fan are fine, because mosquitos don’t like the airstream.
It is advised to avoid risky places, such as slums, where hygiene is not a priority.
At the beach there are sandfleas, that appear at sunset and jump onto your legs. Unpleasant and itchy..
In every supermarket you can find bottles and sprays with deet against mosquitos. At the “farmácia” gels to combat the itching bites are sold.

medicinesMedication
Are you using medication? Take your prescription with you. That may be useful in case you have to buy new medicines on your way
In some cases you will have to show an English doctor’s declaration, especially if it concerns injection needles and heavy medication under the opium law. Besides adhesive plasters and aspirines, take some anti-diarrhea medication in your medicine kit.,
Loperamid is a very strong medicine against diarrhea, but not suitable for pregnant women or persons taking other medication. Do drink a lot of water without bubbles.

Food and drink
In many places in Costa Rica people say that the water from the tap is safe to drink. Mostly because of the fact (much) chlorine is being added to the water. We advise you to not take any risk during your holiday and drink bottled water. Just for security’s sake!
In restaurants the food is normally of good quality. But at busstops and little stands on the roadside  you will sometimes see those glass boxes with a heating lamp where meat pies are being stored. Of course this is asking for problems!  Sometimes hamburgers can be a problem when they are not cooked thoroughly.

farmacyIf you get ill
In many places there are “farmácias” = drugstore/farmacy where you can easily get all kinds of medicines, also without prescription. In most cases there is a doctor present in the farmácia.
All over the country there are hospitals. There are hospitals belonging tot the “Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social”, the Costarican public health service, the best place for first aid. In more severe cases you could better go to one of the private hospitals
And of course the owner of your Holland Hotel will be happy to help you get well again as soon as possible.