Health risks in Mauritius
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Updated 3 months ago

Mauritius is an attractive destination as most visitors (especially EU Nationals) do not require any vaccinations prior to coming to Mauritius, and there are no major health concerns.

Vaccinations

If prior to coming to Mauritius, you were in Europe, North America, Australia, or New Zealand for over 6 months, then the yellow fever vaccination is optional. However, it is mandatory if you have recently visited an endemic zone. Vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B are usually recommended for travellers to Mauritius. Polio and tetanus vaccinations should also be up to date, just in case.

Those coming to live in Mauritius after a visit or stay in a country at risk of an epidemic have to show an updated vaccination booklet upon entry. Mauritius is quite strict about its health standards.

Allergies

The allergy season lasts from April to May, around the time of the flowering season of the sugarcane. Allergies can get worse due to sugarcane fires during the harvest season, where airborne smoke particles particularly affect those susceptible to allergies.

Mosquitoes

During the rainy summer months (November to February), mosquitoes are abundant, and mosquito repellent products are recommended. While mosquitoes in Mauritius do not generally carry diseases, mosquito bites are not pleasant, and either way it is always better to be safe. More natural products can be used, such as fresh lemongrass, or geranium essence. Coil emissions and other preventative measures are also helpful.

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in Mauritius. There have been very few isolated cases in recent years, and those introduced by people who visited countries at risk.

Chikungunya

There was an outbreak of Chikungunya in 2005-2006 in the Indian Ocean, with Mauritius being one of the islands that were affected. However, the outbreak was kept under control. Two species of mosquitoes, aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus, can transmit and spread the virus to humans. Avoid stagnant water in order to prevent contamination.

Pollution

Air pollution in Mauritius occurs mainly due to exhaust gases from vehicles. There is also a lot of waste on the streets, and the Mauritian government is not efficient enough in coping with a growing population and the construction influx of new properties.

Rabies

Rabies is not an issue in Mauritius, although there are many stray dogs and cats that have not been vaccinated. Therefore, it is important to contact a doctor in case of contact with stray animals.

AIDS

There was an estimated number of 6,333 cases in Mauritius in 2015, a number that is not definite as there is no mandatory screening test in Mauritius except when donating blood and there is no serologic test for HIV upon arrival in the country. The needle exchange programme has been legalised in Mauritius by PILS (Prevention Information Fight Against AIDS), with the aim to decrease the risk of contamination by injection. Note that in order to obtain the Occupation Permit, a medical certificate indicating a negative HIV test is required, with the test done in Mauritius.

Drug addiction

Drug addiction is a problem in Mauritius, with some alarming statistics. There are over 11,000 addicts in the country (hard drugs derived from opium, cocaine, drugs such as Subutex, and soft drugs such as cannabis). There is heavy trafficking as well as misuse of Opioid medicines such as Subutex. Mauritius is strict about drug use, and all drugs are prohibited in Mauritius, including soft drugs which are not legalised. Synthetic drugs are also becoming more and more common among the younger crowd.

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