After Canada, Mexico is the most popular destination for Americans traveling outside the United States. As a developing country, Mexico presents numerous health hazards to American visitors, including the prevalent travelers’ diarrhea (turista), from which 40% will suffer, and the less common typhoid, dengue, rabies, malaria, taeniasis, cysticercosis, and trichinosis. Environmental hazards, including sun, heat, high altitude, motion sickness, and accidents, also threaten the unwary traveler. In the event of illness or injury, Americans may find medical facilities unfamiliar and less well equipped than those in the United States. Utilizing both an individualized risk assessment for each traveler and readily available references, physicians, in partnership with local public health agencies, can develop comprehensive preventive health plans for their patients traveling to Mexico.
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