As in much of the Caribbean, the Zika virus is present in Guadeloupe and can cause microcephaly in babies if a pregnant mother is infected. For this reason it's extremely important to cover your body, use mosquito repellent and sleep under a mosquito net if you are or have any chance of being pregnant. Symptoms of Zika are mild fever, joint and muscle pain, headaches, skin rash and/or conjunctivitis, which normally last for between a few days a week.
Mosquitoes can also carry dengue fever. Dengue outbreaks tend to occur wherever there’s standing water – more frequent in cities than in the countryside.
Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is found throughout Grande-Terre and in much of Basse-Terre, including Grand Etang lake. The main method of prevention is to avoid swimming or wading in fresh water.
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Before You Go
There are no compulsory vaccinations needed to enter Guadeloupe.
Health insurance is a good idea for all travellers, even if you are covered by a reciprocal agreement between your home country and France.
Availability & Cost of Healthcare
Medical care in Guadeloupe is equivalent to mainland France: very good. The biggest hospital is the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Pointe-à-Pitre, though there are smaller hospitals in almost every region. There are plenty of pharmacies everywhere; look for the green cross, often flashing in neon. EU citizens can get healthcare costs refunded through their European Health Cards. When paying for medical care, nationals of other countries should keep all receipts to reclaim money from their health-insurance providers.
It’s safe to drink the tap water in Guadeloupe.