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Health concerns in Panama


Hi guys! I’ve just booked a trip to Panama at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort from Feb 20-27. The tour books that I have been consulting leave me with a few questions. Do we need vaccinations for yellow fever, typhoid, malaria, etc.? We plan on doing a few side trips off the resort (I assume) like the eco tours, jungle boat ride and possibly a visit to one of the indigenous communities. Fill me in, please. I would appreciate any and all information re: tours, vaccinations, food quality, things to take along, etc. Thanks so much.


Too bad, you’re coming in the day we leave…

Don’t know much about the place except what I’ve read. Don’t know where your from, but here in Quebec, Canada, we have “Traveler’s Clinics”. It’s a Medical Clinic specific to travelers. They inform you of what you need, as well as precautions to take before you go and once you get there. And if you need meds, needles, pills, etc, they’ll do right there.



Hey Marc,

Merci beaucoup for your fast reply. I’m in Ontario and I have an appointment booked at a travel clinic in February. Did you take any shots? Any concerns?


I have been to Panama 8 times and have never gotten any shots. I have never had any problems. I have taken my son since he was 5 yrs old and in 2003 both of my nephews (at that time they were 3 and 5 yrs old) went and they never had any vaccinations with no problems. But I always tell people they should do what will make them the most comfortable on their trip so that they can enjoy their vacation.
Have a great trip.



In the 3 last yrs, Anna & I have been to the DR and Cuba several times. I went or called the Travellers Clinic each time before leaving. This time around, after looking at each our files, they informed us that we were up to par… if we’d had this year’s flu shot. So, we’re fine.

But, I’m not sure what you’d need if this would be your first time south. I can only assume that epetitis A, B, … would be in order.



We went to Gamboa and Royal Decameron in Nov 04, had no trouble, did the Emberra Indian tour, jungle boat tour, and while in Gamboa hiked in the jungle every day, even getting lost trying to find a “secret” trail to the top of the hill instead of the cable car. Never got sick.


We have travelled every years since 1993 to places such as Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba - and have never gotten any shots and have been fine.
I see my dr. at least 1x year - she knows we travel every year - and has never mentioned/recommended we get any shots.
Have fun!


My Family doctor is also a travel doctor in Hamilton. The only thing he recomended was Twinrix (Hep A&B). If you’re travling in Feb, a Feb visit is no good for you. Twinrix is a 7 month process (1st immediately, 2nd in one month, 3rd in six months).

So you’re too late for Twinrix.

You might want to look at something for travelers diarrhea. Typically that needs to be taken 2 weeks prior and then every day or two (not sure, didn’t get it in time) while you’re there.

The water and ice at the Royal Decameron is fully treated and consumable. off site, they said to be careful.