Pope Francis Visits Mexico
Pope Francis will be visiting Mexico February 12–18, 2016. Stops on the Pope’s journey to Mexico include Mexico City, Tuxtla Gutierrez, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Morelia, and Ciudad Juarez. Large crowds are expected at several events, including the Mass at the fairgrounds in Ciudad Juarez, which is next to the international border with El Paso, Texas. Large crowds are also expected in El Paso, which will host a live streaming broadcast of the mass at the Sun Bowl Stadium.
Mexico, along with many destinations in South and Central America and the Caribbean, is experiencing an outbreak of Zika virus. Because of reports of serious birth defects and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant, CDC has issued special recommendations for pregnant women traveling to Mexico. See “Zika Virus in Pregnancy” on this page and the Zika in Mexico travel notice for more information.
What can travelers do to stay healthy and safe during a trip to Mexico?
If you plan to travel to Mexico, review the Mexico destination page to learn more about how to stay healthy and safe during your trip and follow these tips for safe and healthy travel.
Before your trip:
- Talk to your doctor or nurse about vaccines and medicines recommended forMexico. See the Find a Clinic webpage for help in finding a travel medicine clinic near you.
- CDC recommends all travelers be up-to-date on routine vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and flu.
- Other recommended vaccines may include hepatitis A, typhoid, hepatitis B, andrabies.
- Medicine for travelers’ diarrhea may be recommended
- Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
- Pack a travel health kit.
- Monitor travel warnings and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State. See the US Department of State Warning for Mexico.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
During your trip:
- Prevent mosquito bites and use insect repellent: Diseases spread by mosquitoes, such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika, are common throughout Mexico. It is safe for pregnant women to use mosquito repellents, including those containing DEET. Read more about ways to prevent bug bites by visiting the Avoid Bug Bites page.
- CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas with Zika outbreaks (which includes Mexico). Learn more in the “Zika Virus in Pregnancy” section on this page.
- Follow security and safety guidelines. US travelers may be targets for criminals during mass gatherings. See the US Department of State Warning for Mexico.
- Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
- Carry the contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate in Mexico.
- Follow all local laws and social customs.
- Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
- Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
- If possible, choose hotel rooms on the second through the sixth floors. A room on the first floor of a hotel may provide easier access for criminals. Rooms on the seventh floor or above may be difficult to escape in the event of a fire.
- Reduce your risk of illness and injury during a mass gathering.
- Try to avoid the most crowded areas, or areas where there are not enough exits. Injuries are more likely to occur where people are packed closely together.
- Always know where the emergency exits and medical facilities are.
- For more information on staying safe in a crowd, visit the Mass Gatherings page.
- Choose safe transportation: Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries. Read about ways to prevent transportation injuries by visiting the Road Safety page.
- Follow food and water safety guidelines: Eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water can cause illnesses such as hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and travelers’ diarrhea. Read about how to prevent these diseases by visiting the Safe Food and Water page. Beware of food from street vendors, ice in drinks, and other foods and drinks that may be contaminated and cause travelers’ diarrhea.
- Be safe around animals: Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies. Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know. For more information visit Animal Safety page.
- Reduce your exposure to germs: Wash your hands often, and avoid contact with people who are sick. Read more about reducing your exposure to germs in the Stay Healthy and Safe section of the Mexico page. If you feel sick during your trip—
- Talk to a doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever.
- For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad.
- Avoid contact with other people while you are sick.
After your trip:
- If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic.
- Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal, or exposed to mosquitoes, while traveling.
- For more information, see Getting Sick after Travel.
- If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about your recent travel. CDC has issued guidance to help doctors decide when to test you and your baby for Zika virus.
- See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and developed a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes during your trip or within 2 weeks after traveling to a country where Zika virus cases have been reported.
- Health Information for Travelers to Mexico
- Zika in Mexico
- Chikungunya in Mexico
- Mexico Information from the US Department of State