Level 2 Travel Advisory Issued for Belize
Pregnant women should not travel to Belize says CDC Travel Alert
The US State Department issued a Level 2, Travel Advisory, Exercise Increased Caution, for the Central American country of Belize on January 4, 2018.
This Travel Advisory for Americans visiting Belize is related to local crime.
This Advisory says violent crimes, such as sexual assault, home invasions, armed robberies, and murder are common even during daylight hours and in tourist areas.
Moreover, the State Department says the local Belize police lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Most crimes remain unresolved and unprosecuted in this country of approximately 57,000 citizens.
Additionally, due to high crime rates in Belize, Americans are advised to exercise caution while traveling in Belize City, which is divided into north and south by the Haulover Creek, facing the Caribbean Sea.
And, during August 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 2 Travel Alert for Belize, regarding the Zika virus.
Belize Public health officials have reported that local mosquitoes are infected with Zika, and are spreading it to people.
The CDC says pregnant women should NOT travel to areas with risk of Zika. This is because Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.
All travelers to areas with risk of Zika should take steps to prevent mosquito bites and use condoms or not have sex to protect against Zika during travel. They should continue to take these precautions after their trip to stop the spread of Zika.
If you decide to travel to Belize, the State Department says:
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking or driving at night,
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt,
- Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs. Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry,
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency, and,
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
Separately, during March 2018, CDC updated its vaccine recommendations for Americans visiting Belize.
This CDC update says visitors to Belize should make sure they are up-to-date on routine vaccinations, such as MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella, polio, and a yearly flu shot.
And, certain Belize visitors may need hepatitis A, typhoid and yellow fever vaccinations.
In the USA, these vaccines are available at certified travel vaccination pharmacies and clinics.
Travelers to Belize can easily request a vaccine counseling appointment at Vax-Before-Travel.
The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.
And, MMR vaccine discounts can be found here.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.