Health

 

In the following you will find everything about health.What vaccinations are recommended, what precautions should be taken before traveling, health insurance, emergency pharmacy and much more.

Below you will find the topics sunstroke & heat stroke as well as everything about mosquitoes, diseases they transmit and protective measures.


Vaccination & important information

Vaccinations

For direct entry from Europe or the USA, no special vaccinations are required or prescribed for a trip to Mexico. Mare sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations (e.g. tetanus). This is also sufficient for tours. In adults, these include the following:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Whooping cough
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • May influenza

Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, typhus, rabies and malaria prophylaxis are recommended as additional travel vaccinations for long-term stays, especially in the rainforest of Mexico or in the countryside.

 

Health care

Before you start your journey, you should clarify a few things (such as major dental problems, asthma, diabetes or cardiovascular problems) with your doctor. Due to the tropical heat and, above all, the humid climate, your body is subject to a significantly higher level of stress than normal, which you are not used to at home. This is absolutely not to be underestimated. Drinking a lot (Water!) is absolutely necessary. It is also possibly to carry for example sugar or glucose with you.

 

Health insurance

We recommend that you take a good international travel health insurance for medical emergencies on site. Almost every large hotel has a doctor present, but it can quickly become necessary to go to a local hospital. The healthcare system in and around Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum is very well developed. There are many clinics and also international doctors. There are pharmacies ('Farmacias') at every corner and many medicines are available without a prescription. The larger pharmacies always have a doctors in a separate consultation room for smaller diseases. The visit costs 4 to 5 euros (5 to 6 USD).

However, the treatment costs of doctors and clinics are not covered by the statutory health insurance and can often be very high (up to six figures - depending on the illness or accident). If you have taken out international health insurance, you pay the costs in advance (credit card or cash) and submit them to the insurance company for reimbursement later at home.

 

Travel pharmacy

You should have a small first-aid kit with the most important medicines with you. These include:

  • Personally required medication
  • Painkiller
  • Flu remedies or ear drops
  • Disinfection set
  • Plasters and bandages

Other remedies for flu, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, sunburn or sun allergy etc. can be bought in any pharmacy, often very cheaply.

 

Emergency numbers

general emergency call: 911 

Red Cross: 065

Fire department: 068


Hygiene

The hygienic standard in the Riviera Maya is relatively high, at least in the tourist centers. Nevertheless, you should be aware of the changed circumstances for your body. Wash your hands as often and thoroughly as possible with soap, especially before preparing food and after using the restroom. It is always nice to have a small hygienic spray or wipes with you. Whenever you can, use the disinfectant dispenser which has already been set up to clean your hands. Use them as often as you can. But please also remember to apply lotion to your hands regularly, as desinfectants dry out the skin.

 

Drinking water and nutrition

The biggest health problems for tourists while traveling are usually gastrointestinal infections ("Montezuma's revenge") due to unfamiliar food and sometimes pollutes water. To remember, there is one old rule: "Cook it, peel it or forget it". It is the best to only eat cooked or well-fried foods. In particular, too many ice cubes or drinks which are too cold, should be avoided. Your body is heaten up by the sun, the cold drinks, ice cubes and crushed ice cause a quick cool down of your gastrointestinal tract and diarrhea, excessive chills and vomiting can be the consequences. The ice cubes are usually made industrially and packed in bags, so you can drink it without hesitation. But it would be advisable to get your stomach used to it in a slowly way.

 

In hotels you can enjoy salads, fruits and juices without hesitation, these are usually washed with clean water from large bottles. Also remember to consume a lot of fluids, especially in these latitudes!

 

The tap water in Mexico is not for drinking! Please only drink water without gas (agua natural / agua sin gas) or mineral water (agua mineral / agua con gas). It's the same with water for brushing your teeth! If diarrhea lasts longer than two days, consult a doctor or a pharmacy (farmacia). There is always a doctor in the hotels who you can contact.

 

Basically, the food that is offered on the beaches and streets or in markets is harmless. In best case, make sure to eat at a well-attended stand. The number of visitors can often be taken as a measure of the quality of the food. In addition, the dishes are also fresh. You should pay attention to the storage of meat and fish. Furthermore, everything should be cooked well. The same applies to the fruits: Better fruits that have to be peeled beforehand!

 

Public restrooms

Often,public restrooms are not up to the standard of most toilets at home, even if you have to pay for them. Usually there is no toilet paper in the cabins, you get this when you pay. As a rule, it is better to go to restaurants or cafes and use the guest toilet there, either as a guest or for a fee, of course. Otherwise, tissues and hygiene spray are recommended. There is also no waste or paper disposed into the toilets, as the pipes in Mexico are very thin and clog quickly. Always throw the rubbish into the adjacent buckets.

 

Basically you don't have to worry about hygiene problems if you follow a few small 'rules'. The same applies here again: Everyone is different and reacts differently to certain things. This means that some guests can eat fruits and food from Mexico's streets without any problems and others have big problems with it. If you do not have as many experiences how your body reacts on for example food, you might be a little more careful at the beginning. In the hotels, the hygiene standards are in most cases very high and you don't have to worry about food or cleanliness. There it should be noted that the tap water is not suitable as drinking water.


Heat stroke & sunstroke

We are dreaming of summer, sun, beach and sea. Finally, the vacation is there and with it the best time of the year. Who does not want to come home tanned and make everyone jealous with Caribbean brown skin, who stayed at home?

You lie on the beach and finally you can really relax. It is wonderful to feel the warm rays of the sun on your skin. But be careful, please do not sunbath too much! If you stay in the sun too long, you risk sunstroke.  But what exactly is sunstroke?

Sunstroke

 

People who have had too much sun on their head and neck area can suffer sunstroke. The intense heat causes irritation of the brain and the meninges. This can result in inflammatory reactions. Swelling of the brain can also be a result. Is used to be thought that UV rays are the causes. Today we know that temperature is the problem.

 

How do you recognize a sunstroke?

 

Sunstroke patients often have a red head, they complain of restlessness, headaches and sometimes ringing in their ears. Some have to vomit. Disturbances in consciousness can occur. Pain in the neck or a stiff neck is also typical. It is noticeable that the body temperature of a sunstroke patient is usually not increased.

 

How can you help a victim?

 

Immediately get the patient out of the sun and cool his head with damp, cool towels or a cool shower. Those affected often feel better when their upper body is slightly elevated. Give the patient something to drink, preferably water or apple juice, but only if he is clearly conscious. Medical advice is required to exclude a dangerous heat stroke. In the event of severe vomiting or apathetic conditions, the sunstroke patient shoud definitely be taken to a hospital or even the emergency doctor should be called. If the patient has a severe headache, a pain reliever from the pharmacy can help - provided there is no negative aspect from a medical perspective. In any case, bed rest is advisable until the symptoms subside.

 

How can you prevent a sunstroke?

 

Don't spend too long in the sun or protect your head with a hat. Babies in particular have to be safe. Their skulls are much thinner and sometimes not even completely closed. In addition, you always have to drink enough, especially in the heat. As an advise, an adult needs at least half a liter of water on hot days.

Heat stroke

 

What is the difference to a sunstroke?

 

Even if the two terms 'sunstroke' and 'heat stroke' are often mixed up in everyday life: heat stroke is much more dangerous than a sunstroke. Heat stroke is triggered by physical overexertion in a hot environment. Especially athletes who train in the heat can suffer from heat stroke.

 

Heat stroke can be life threatening

 

In contrast to a sunstroke, the body temperature during a heat stroke can increase up to 40 degrees Celsius and more. This can be life threatening. Great exertion in combination with intense heat can disable the body's temperature regulation system, for example sweat productions fails.

Symptoms of heat strokes are often convulsions, hallucinations, and decreased consciousness. But it also happens that the person concerned is 'only' completely exhausted. Your heart rate is higher, blood pressure is low, your skin is hot and dry. Beware, this condition is often mistaken for exhaustion or tiredness and the heat stroke is treated too late.

Immediately take the person out of the heat and call the emergency doctor. Cool his whole body with damp cloths and control breathing and consciousness.

Heat exhaustion

 

There is a transition between sunstroke and heat stroke, called heat exhaustion. Is is caused by the loss of fluids and salts due to insufficient drinking. The signs are dehydration and a rised body temperature to 37°C to 40°C. Although there is often no disturbance of consciousness when the heat is exhausted, dizziness, shortness of breath and shivering can occur. Heat exhaustion is treated like sunstroke and heat stroke.

 



Mosquitoes, protection & diseases

The best time of the year is coming up and with it the question, what do I have to consider and what do I have to pack? Many of our guests are particularly concerned with the topic of mosquitoes and mosquito repellent, which is why we would like to give you some information and tips.

Due to the tropical and often humid climate in this region, there are always some mosquitoes. There are guests who are covered with mosquito bites during the first few hours and others do not have problems at all. But we can reassure you, there are usually no crowds of mosquitoes that haunt you. Nevertheless, we would like to give you some information and tips t counteract a sleepless night with itching and scratching:

 

Are mosquitoes dangerous in Mexico?
Not every small mosquito bite should panic you, but a good mosquito repellent is absolutely advisable.
When are mosquitoes most common?
Mainly in the humid and warm summer months and during the rainy season. In the winter months, when it cools down especially at night and many vacationers come to visit Mexico, there are not so many mosquitoes. The region always has a light breeze that blows from the sea, which also reduces the mosquito problem. Mosquitoes in particular occur more frequently in the afternoon and evening. Moreover they appear in shady areas. The females lay their eggs near to the water. This is why these mosquitoes appear in humid areas, after rain and in the jungle. The yellow fever mosquitoes are diurnal and are considered to be very aggressive. That is why you should always spray yourself well, especially during the day. Even our cruisers shouldn't forget a mosquito repellent.
Which diseases can be caused by mosquito bites?
1. Dengue: Dengue viruses are transmitted by diurnal yellow fever or Aedes mosquitoes. The disease is usually accompanied by fever, a rash and pronounced aching limbs. In rare cases, serious complications, including possible death, occur in children. However, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis or a specific therapy against dengue fever. 
2. Zika: The Zika virus infection, which is primarily transmitted by diurnal yellow fever or Aedes mosquitoes, can lead to malformations in children during pregnancy and neurological complications in adults. Pregnant women should speak to their doctor before travelling to Mexico. If you want to get pregnant, a good mosquito spray (e.g. OFF) will help.
3. Chicungunya fever: Chikungunya viruses are transmitted by diurnal yellow fever or Aedes mosquitoes. The disease is characterized by a high fever and possibly prolonged joint and muscle pain. The symptpms can often not be clearly distinguished from other mosquito-borne diseases. Chikungunya fever does not always heal without success, and there are seldom long-term rheumatoid-like symptoms. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis or a specific therapy. Therefore, only a good mosquito repellent will help.
It is best to have a look at the website of the Federal Foreign Office for more information.
Was sollte ich auf meinen Touren beachten? 

In der Regel braucht Ihr auf unseren Touren mit Booten keinen Mückenschutz, da durch den Fahrtwind keine Mücken um Euch herum sein werden. Dies gilt vor allem für Sian Kaan und Bacalar. Auf Holbox ist es bei der Golf Car Fahrt und vor allem auch beim Reiten absolut empfehlenswert, ein gutes Mückenspray dabei zu haben. Für alle Touren in den Dschungel und in die Ruinen (Coba, Tulum, EK Balam, Chichen Itza, Welcome to the Jungle) gilt: unbedingt vorab gut einsprühen! Wir sind entweder direkt im Dschungel oder in Gebieten mit Mangroven und da treten die Biester am meisten auf. 

Warum sehe ich in meinem Hotel gar keine Mücken?
Viele Hotels bekämpfen die Mücken, in dem sie vor allem nachts in den Anlagen sprühen. So kann es sein, dass Ihr in Eurem Hotel gar keine Mücken habt. Meidet auf jeden Fall ein Zimmer mit Balkonen oder Terrassen an Gebüschen, denn dort sammeln sie sich am liebsten.

Welche Tipps gibt es noch? 

Cremt euch nach dem Sonnenbaden nicht direkt mit After Sun ein sondern wartet damit, bis Ihr am Abend wieder zurück ins Hotelzimmer kommt. Vor allem am Nachmittag und in den Abendstunden werdet Ihr vermehrt Mücken finden und die Cremes und Parfums die wir auf dem Körper haben verstopfen nicht nur die Poren bei der Hitze und ihr schwitz mehr, sondern locken durch die Duftstoffe auch gerne noch mehr Mücken an. 

Zieht Euch leichte Kleidung mit zum Beispiel langem Ärmeln an (z.B. eine Tunika oder ein UV-Shirt) und die Tiere haben weniger Chancen Euch zu stechen.

Sprüht Euch gut ein aber verreibt die Sprays danach nicht auf der Haut. Der Wirkstoff in Euren Händen kann in den Mund oder auch in die Augen kommen und schwere Reizungen und Schwellungen auslösen. Am Abend sollte der Körper gereinigt und die ganze Chemie gut abgeduscht werden.

Welche Sprays sind zu empfehlen? 

Wir empfehlen Euch das OFF-Spray, damit haben wir und auch die meisten unserer Gäste sehr gute Erfahrungen gemacht. Ihr könnt dieses zu Euren Touren ganz einfach bei uns dazu buchen. Viele nutzen aber auch Anti Brumm (hoher DEET Anteil). Autan schneidet bei unseren Gästen eher schlecht ab. Je höher der Wirkstoff DEET (Diethyltoluamid) im Spray ist, desto wirkungsvoller ist es. Aber Achtung: nicht jeder verträgt diesen Wirkstoff! Schwangere und Kleinkinder sollten ihn unbedingt meiden. Achtet deshalb auf die Herstellerhinweise auf den Spraydosen.

Was hilft am besten bei Stichen und Schwellungen?

Bei starken Stichen oder Schwellungen helfen sogenannte Stichheiler (zu bekommen in den Apotheken), kühlende Mücken-Gels oder auch kalte Umschläge. Bei allergischen Reaktionen kann man ein Antihistaminikum als Tabletten einnehmen (vor Ort erhältlich in den Apotheken). Bei ganz schlimmen Reaktionen sollte jedoch sofort ein Arzt aufgesucht werden.


Sun protection? Good to know!

When you visit us here in Mexico, it is important to know everything about the right sun protection. We collected some information, so you are able to prepare yourself and you know what you will need.

 

Which sun protection factor do I need?

 

 

The SPF factor should be high enough, because your skin is probably not used to the sun. We are near by the equator and it is easy to get burned, even when the sky is cloudy. You cannot compare the sun to the european sun and one often underestimates UV radiation, which acts on the skin. We recommend a SPF factor of 50! The UV shirts with an integrated sun protection are also a good addition or alternative. So you are more protected during a long  stay in the water, e.g. during snorkeling. Mostly, this shirts are very expensive at your home. Here, you are able to get them cheaper and in every size and color at nearly every bigger market like WalMart or Chedraui, also for kids!

 

 

How long in advance should I cream myself?

 

 

The sunscreen needs some time to soak in the skin. Minimum 30 minutes, better one hour before swimming, you should cream yourself. Otherwise the protection will get lost in the water and you are not safe anymore. Additionally, the cream pollutes the sea and the enviroment. On boat tours in nature reserves it is forbidden to use any sunscreen (it does not matter which one!) to protect the nature and the water. That is why we recommend that our guestst should cream themselves before the tour starts.

 

Before swimming in cenotes it is basically forbidden to use sunscreen. You even have to take a shower before going into the water. The cenotes are used as sources for fresh and drinking water and who want to have residues of sunscreen or mosquito spray in the showering or cooking water?!

 

 

Is a biodegradable sunscreen required? And why is it recommended?

 

 

For sure there is no law, which require the use of biodegradable sunscreen. In some nature reserves the use of 'normal' creams is forbidden. At the entrance are controls and some creams will get drafted for one day. You need to have a biodegradable sunscreen or you have to leave your shirt on to protect your skin against the sun.

 

These controls are necessary, because non-biodegradable creams have chemical ingredients, which destroy the reefs with the corals, harm the animals in the sea and destroy in the long run a complete (and for all of us important) ecosystem. Even now, the oceans are contaminated with pollutants, chemicals and plastic. It is estimated that about 6000 metric tons of sunscreen gets into the sea every year - an incredible number!

 

All over the world we are able to see the consequences: corals die, fish populations are declining, and all other sea creatures and animals fight against the pollution in their habitat. The so called 'coral bleaching' is caused by the harmful ingredients of sunscreens. The oils, like parabens do not dissolve in water and lay down in the corals.

Luckily there are alternatives, which harm the sea significantly less: biodegradable or reef-friendly sunscreen. They do without parabens and help to protect the oceans and their inhabitants.

 

Where do I geht the biogradable sunscreen and is everything organic where it says organic?

 

 

Während es in anderen Ländern wie den USA schon durchaus üblich ist, hat sich in Deutschland die Verwendung von umweltfreundlicher Sonnencreme noch nicht durchgesetzt. Deshalb ist leider das Angebot an biologisch abbaubaren Präparaten noch begrenzt. Wichtig zu wissen, wenn ihr auf der Suche nach einem Produkt seid:

 

·         Nur, wenn es explizit draufsteht, dass die Creme biologisch abbaubar bzw. Riff-freundlich ist, dann handelt es sich auch um umweltfreundliche Sonnencreme!

 

·         Ein veganes Produkt ist nicht automatisch umweltverträglich

 

·         Mineralische Cremes sind nur dann unschädlich, wenn sie auch nano-frei sind!

 

·         Das Produkt sollte folgende Inhaltsstoffe NICHT haben: PABA, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, 4-Methylbenzylidene, Camphor und Butylparaben.

 

·         Am einfachsten findet man entsprechende Produkte online auf entsprechenden Plattformen. Da die meisten Produkte nicht aus Deutschland kommen bzw. nicht dort hergestellt werden, ist die Produktbeschreibung oft auf englisch. Schaut also nach biodegradable sunscreen

 

·         Natürlich könnt ihr eine umweltfreundliche Sonnencreme auch bei uns kaufen. Schaut mal in unserem Shop: https://www.santitour.com/shop/

 

Wir freuen uns, wenn ihr durch den Verzicht auf herkömmliche und schädliche Sonnencremes dazu beitragt, unser schönes Meer und seine Bewohner zu schützen und für nachfolgende Generationen zu erhalten