It is advisable before traveling to Bolivia that you get
vaccinated for Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever, polio, and malaria
in certain regions. There are medical services available in
each city of each region.
It is preferable to drink only bottled or boiled water in
Avoid eating food sold on the street. You should also ensure
that the shellfish and seafood is fresh and try to eat them
cooked. Bolivian food is varied and exquisite, and the best
and safest food is found in restaurants.
Sickness and Diseases
Malaria: It is a contagious illness
caused by a protozoan parasite in the red blood cells, called
plasmodium or Laveran Hematozoon,
transmitted by the anopheles mosquito which dwells in humid,
marshy areas. The sickness causes fever at regular intervals,
following a rhythmic pattern (tertian or quartan fever), anemia,
swelling of the spleen and a general alteration of the health.
The base treatment includes quinine and synthetic products.
Wear clothes that cover most of the body, repellents and mosquito
nets. The mosquito that spreads the sickness is not found
over 2,500 meters (8,200 ft) above sea level.
AIDS: The Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome is a sickness caused by the HIV virus (human immunodeficiency
virus), that severely alters the infected persons immune
system which is in charge of protecting the body against infectious
agents. This alteration prevents the immune system from fulfilling
its normal function, allowing microorganisms to enter and
cause serious infections in the body, opportunist infections,
and serious malignant diseases. It is a contagious illness,
that may be transmitted from one person to another through
different means: sexual intercourse, through contaminated
blood (transfusions, infected syringes) and from mother to
son (in the delivery or through breastfeeding).
It is true that the number of infected people has risen in
Bolivia, but this increase belongs mainly to the highest risk
groups: homosexuals and drug addicts.
Yellow Fever: It is an acute infection
caused by a virus that can vary in its risk level, and is
characterized by a sudden onset, fever, relatively slow pulse
and headaches. The presence of an intense albuminuria, jaundice
and hemorrhages, especially upper gastrointestinal bleeding,
is frequent. The infection is transmitted through the bite
of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and in the jungle by the Haemagogos
mosquito. The incubation period lasts from 3 to 6 days, and
normally there are no initial symptoms.
Chagas Disease: It is a sickness
transmitted by a vector insect, the "kissing bug"
(triatomine). This insect carries a microbe in it's blood
that acts as a parasite moving in a cyclic pattern between
the blood and the cells of the organism. The "kissing
bug" only feeds on human and animal blood, and it transmits
the microbe through its fecal waste, which is eliminated immediately
after stinging. The person affected by the Chagas disease
will have acquired a chronic illness that may cause death.
Health care facilities in La Paz
|Hospitals and clinics
||Maternal Infant Center