General health precautions
There are some general health precautions to follow when visiting or living in Mexico. In Mexico City, for example, you’ll find yourself at a much higher altitude than most people are accustomed to, which can lead to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue if you do not acclimate properly. In order to avoid any problems, make sure to rest and stay very hydrated. If you’re not used to the food, there will be an adjustment period, so try to stay away from street food for some time.
Look out for scorpions, especially the centruroides, or bark scorpion as it is extremely venomous. They can show up in your home during the colder seasons, and the best thing to do is catch them and leave them outside, but if you’re bitten, go straight to a hospital. To identify the most dangerous ones you have to take into consideration its color, where (geographically) you are, and some external characteristics. Lighter scorpions are generally more venomous, but the centruroides noxius is a dark red. Most of them are found in the Pacific side of the country, so states like Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, and Oaxaca are most likely to have venomous scorpions. On the side on the Gulf of Mexico you will still find scorpions, but they are harmless. The physical characteristics you should keep in mind are that the tail segments are cylindrical and slim. You can avoid a surprise by always shaking your clothing before putting it on, and checking inside your shoes.
When you visit tropical areas, always wear bug repellent to avoid getting bitten. There are a few mosquitoes borne diseases to be aware of, but aren’t very common, like dengue fever and chikungunya. Both of these diseases are treatable and avoidable.
Here are some recommended (but not necessary) vaccines, apart from the vaccines you should already have:
- Hepatitis A
In general, avoid drinking water straight from the tap. The Revenge of Moctezuma is real and you will have a terrible time dealing with stomach issues that can range from diarrhea to dangerous viruses. Drink bottled water or take a filter with you to be ecologically friendly.
The weather in Mexico is very different depending on where you are. While the center of the country generally enjoys mild climate, there are regions that are extremely hot. In the tropical rain forests of Chiapas and Quintana Roo, temperatures and humidity are very high. In places like Sinaloa, temperatures can rise to 50 °C. You can check the climatology on the official government website.