The risk of malaria in Costa Rica is low.
CDC states rare local cases occasionally occur in Matina Canton in Limón Province, Sarapiquí Canton in Heredia Province, and Pital District in San Carlos Canton in Alajuela Province. UK malaria resources provide similar information.
Please check here to see a malaria map of Costa Rica on TravelHealthPro (an NHS website).
For more information and advice on how to prevent malaria, see our How To Avoid Insect & Mosquito Bites page.
Chikungunya virus infection in the Caribbean islands and the Americas
This is a virus passed on by being bitten by infected mosquitos. The incubation period is typically 3–7 days and symptoms include acute onset of fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, conjunctivitis, nausea/vomiting, or rash. The symptoms usually go within 10 days but in some may last months especially for the elderly and people with underlying health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
As this is a virus, there is no medication to prevent or treat the disease and anti-malarial tablets such as Chloroquine will not have an effect on it.
Bite avoidance measures should be taken and followed firmly to reduce the likelihood of being bitten.
The affected mosquitoes tend to bite during the day so wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers wherever possible and ensure that a strong insect repellent is used and reapplied regularly, especially after swimming.
You should also sleep under a mosquito net and if you are staying for a long time or are unsure of the hotel/hostel, it would be advisable to take a battery-operated or plug-in mosquito killer for your room to kill any lingering mosquitos.
Below is a table designed to show you what vaccines are mandatory, recommended or ones to consider when visiting Costa Rica:
|Cholera||Hepatitis A||Hepatitis B||Japanese Encephalitis||Meningitis||Rabies|
|Tetanus||Tick Borne Encephalitis||Tuberculosis||Typhoid||Yellow Fever Vaccine|
|Rec||Con||No, but certificates may be needed depending on which country you arrived from.|
Man = Mandatory
Con = Consider
Rec = Recommended
Req = Required if visiting from an area with risk of transmission
Information Reviewed by Andrew Walton MPharm our Superintendent Pharmacist on: 30/4/2021