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Colombia

Map of Colombia

Welcome to the NaTHNaC Country Information page.

The information on this page should be used as part of a comprehensive pre-travel health consultation. Ideally this should be scheduled at least six weeks prior to travel. All travellers should have adequate travel health insurance.

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Recent Clinical Updates

Clinical Updates provide information which may result in a change in travel health advice or practice.

Recent Clinical Updates for this country are listed below:

There have been no Clinical Updates about this country in the last 6 months.

View a full list of Clinical Updates for this country.


General Health Risks


Vaccine Preventable Risks

Travellers should be up to date with routinely recommended vaccinations according to the UK schedule:

Yellow Fever

Vaccine Preventable Risks: Yellow Fever | Additional Risks | Back to Top

Administration of yellow fever vaccine should take into account both the certificate requirements under International Health Regulations and the risk of yellow fever at the destination. The lack of a certificate requirement does not necessarily indicate that there is no risk of disease.

disease_yf_co.htm

YELLOW FEVER

Yellow fever is a systemic viral disease.

Risk assessment
  • EpidemiologyInformation on the occurrence of disease within this country - There is a risk of yellow fever transmission in areas below 2,300m in the departments of: Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlántico, Bolivar, Boyacá, Caldas, Caquetá, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Guaviare, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Riasaralda, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Vaupés, and Vichada; and the municipalities of Acandí, Juradó, Riosucio, and Unguía in Choco department, the municipalities of Albania, Barrancas, Dibulla, Distracción, El Molino, Fonseca, Hatonuevo, La Jagua del Pilar, Maicao, Manaure, Riohacha, San Juan del Cesar, Urumita, and Villanueva in La Guajira department.
  • There is a low potential for exposure to yellow fever in the departments of Cauca, Nariño and Valle de Cauca, central and southern Choco department, and the cities of Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellín.
  • There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in areas above 2,300m, including the city of Bogotá and the municipality of Uribia in La Guajira department.
  • View a map of areas in the Americas with risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • ExposureInformation on the mode of transmission and factors that may increase disease risk - Yellow fever is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito (or other related species). Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours.
  • The risk in San Andrés and Providencia is under review. Please contact NaTHNaC for further information.
Risk management
  • Travellers should take mosquito bite avoidance measures. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours.
  • Yellow fever vaccine should be givenAll travellers in risk categories should receive vaccine to all travellers 9 months of age and older travelling to areas below 2,300m in the departments of: Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlántico, Bolivar, Boyaća, Caldas, Caquetá, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Guaviare, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Riasaralda, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Vaupés, and Vichada; and the municipalities of Acandí, Juradó, Riosucio, and Unguía in Choco department, the municipalities of Albania, Barrancas, Dibulla, Distracción, El Molino, Fonseca, Hatonuevo, La Jagua del Pilar, Maicao, Manaure, Riohacha, San Juan del Cesar, Urumita, and Villanueva in La Guajira department.
  • Vaccine is generally not recommendedMost travellers at very low risk. Consider vaccine for those with prolonged, repetitive mosquito exposure. for travel only to the departments of Cauca, Nariño and Valle de Cauca, central and southern Choco department, and the cities of Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellín.
  • Vaccine is not recommended for travel only to areas above 2,300m including the city of Bogotá and the municipality of Uribia in La Guajira department.
  • The risk in San Andrés and Providencia is under review. Please contact NaTHNaC for further information.
  • There are specific contraindications and adverse events associated with yellow fever vaccine. A careful risk assessment should be made before administration and specialist advice sought as appropriate.
Certificate requirements
  • Under International Health Regulations (2005), there are no yellow fever vaccination requirements for any traveller visiting this country. However, this does NOT mean that there is no risk of yellow fever infection.
  • See vaccine recommendations above to determine if vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for travel to this country.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Yellow Fever

NaTHNaC Yellow Fever Vaccine: Information for Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

World Health Organization (WHO) Yellow Fever Vaccination Recommendations and Requirements

Travellers

NaTHNaC Yellow Fever Vaccine: Information for Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

Additional Risks

Vaccine Preventable Risks: Yellow Fever | Additional Risks | Back to Top

The diseases below may be a risk in all or part of the country and are presented alphabetically:

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Tetanus, Typhoid

HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver. A map showing the global areas at risk for hepatitis A can be found here (102 KB GIF)

Risk assessment
Risk management
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Hepatitis A

Department of Health: Immunisation against infectious disease (Green Book) - Hepatitis A

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Prevention of Food and Water-Borne Diseases

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Hepatitis A

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Prevention of Food and Water-Borne Diseases

HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver and may lead to chronic complications.

Risk assessment
Risk management
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Hepatitis B

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Hepatitis B

RABIES

Rabies is a neurological disease caused by viruses of the Lyssavirus genus.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should avoid contact with wild or domestic animals.
  • Pre-exposure vaccination should be givenAll travellers in risk categories should receive vaccine to adults and children who are:
    • at risk of rabies (see above)
    • travelling to remote areas where medical care is not readily available.
  • Following an animal bite, wounds should be thoroughly cleansed and an urgent medical assessment sought, even if the wound appears trivial. Prompt post-exposure treatment is required, even if pre-exposure vaccine has been received.
  • Suitable vaccines and immunoglobulin may be in short supply or unavailable in some countries.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Rabies

Department of Health. Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

World Health Organization (WHO) Rabnet

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Rabies

TETANUS

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released from Clostridium tetani bacteria.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should thoroughly clean all wounds and seek appropriate medical attention
  • Travellers should have completed a primary vaccination course according to the UK schedule.
  • A booster dose should be givenAll travellers in risk categories should receive vaccine to travellers whose last dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine was given more than 10 years ago, and who will not have ready access to medical care; even if they have received five doses previously.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Tetanus

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Tetanus

TYPHOID

Typhoid fever is a systemic disease caused by Salmonella Typhi bacteria.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.
  • Most travellers are at low risk and do not need vaccination.
  • Vaccine may be givenMost travellers at low risk, consider vaccine for those in risk categories to travellers whose planned activities put them at higher risk (see above). Current vaccines against Salmonella Typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella Paratyphi. Previous typhoid illness does not confer reliable immunity.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Typhoid and Paratyphoid Fever

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Prevention of Food- and Water-Borne Diseases

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Typhoid and Paratyphoid Fever

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Prevention of Food- and Water-Borne Diseases


Non-Vaccine Preventable Risks

This section details infectious disease risks for which there are no vaccines as well as some non-infectious disease risks. This is not an exhaustive list. Further information about infectious and non-infectious disease risks can be found on the NaTHNaC Health Information Sheets. Travellers should be aware that accidents and injuries are a cause of serious illness during travel.

Malaria

Non-Vaccine Preventable Risks: Malaria | Additional Risks | Back to Top

MALARIA

Malaria is a serious febrile illness caused by infection of red blood cells with Plasmodium sp. parasites: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malariae. View a map of the global distribution of malaria as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) here. Malaria prevention advice for this country follows Public Health England, Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) guidelines.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Awareness of risk - Risk depends on the specific location, season of travel, length of stay, activities and type of accommodation. Those at higher risk of malaria, or of severe complications from malaria, include pregnant women, infants and young children, the elderly, and those visiting friends and relatives.
  • Bite prevention - Travellers should take mosquito bite avoidance measures. Anopheles mosquitoes feed predominantly during the hours from dusk to dawn.
  • Chemoprophylaxis - No malaria prevention tablets are 100% effective. Taking malaria prevention tablets in combination with mosquito bite avoidance measures will give substantial protection against malaria.
    • Chloroquine resistance is widespread. The recommended chemoprophylaxis for rural areas below 1,600m is mefloquine, doxycycline or atovaquone/proguanil.
    • Chemoprophylaxis is not recommended for the rest of Colombia.
  • Diagnosis - Travellers who develop a fever of 38°C [100°F] or higher more than one week after being in a malaria risk area, or who develop any symptoms suggestive of malaria within a year of return should seek immediate medical care.

Health professionals may obtain advice on managing returned travellers with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of malaria by consulting published guidelines:

Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information sheet on malaria

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

Public Health England, Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) Guidelines for Malaria Prevention in Travellers from the United Kingdom

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information sheet on malaria

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

Public Health England, Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) Guidelines for Malaria Prevention in Travellers from the United Kingdom

Additional Risks

Non-Vaccine Preventable Risks: Malaria | Additional Risks | Back to Top

The risks below may be a risk in all or part of the country and are presented alphabetically:

Altitude, Dengue fever

ALTITUDE

There is a point of elevation in this country higher than 2,500 metres (m).

Risk assessment
  • Travel to destinations of 2,500-3,500 m (8,200-11,500 feet) or higher carries the risk of altitude illness. Important risk factors for altitude illness are the altitude gained, rate of ascent and sleeping altitude. Rapid ascent without a period of acclimatisation puts a traveller at higher risk.
Risk management
  • The most important prevention measure is adequate acclimatisation.
  • Travellers should spend a few days at an intermediate altitude below 3,000 m.
  • Ascent above 3,000 m should be gradual with no more than a 300 - 500 m increase in sleeping altitude per day, with a rest day every three days.
  • Acetazolamide is recognised for use in the prevention of altitude illness. It should not replace acclimatisation and gradual ascent.
  • Travellers who develop symptoms of altitude illness (headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and sleep disturbance) should avoid further ascent. In the absence of improvement or with progression of symptoms the first response should be to descend.
  • Development of more severe forms of altitude illness, high-altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) (confusion, difficulty with balance and coordination) or high-altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) (shortness of breath at rest, cough and chest tightness), require immediate descent and emergency medical treatment.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Altitude Illness

British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Mountain Medicine website

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Altitude Illness

British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Mountain Medicine website

DENGUE FEVER

Dengue is a systemic viral disease. A map showing the global areas at risk for dengue can be found here (85 KB GIF)

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should take mosquito bite avoidance measures. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours.
  • There is no vaccination or medication to prevent dengue.
  • A previous dengue illness with one of the four dengue virus serotypes does not confer immunity to other virus serotypes.
  • Infection with a second dengue serotype may be a risk factor for the development of dengue haemorrhagic fever.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Dengue Fever

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

NaTHNaC Outbreak Survellience Database

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Dengue Fever

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance


Disclaimer

The travel health information contained in these pages is intended for health professionals who assess a patients travel health needs. This document is not a complete medical guide for travellers and as such travellers using this site should consult with a health professional for specific information related to your travel and medical history. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the travel health information, NaTHNaC cannot accept any liability for injury, loss or damage arising in any respect of any statement contained therein.

For the purpose of these web pages the term "country" covers countries, territories and areas. Areas within a country may be shown separately where it is felt necessary in order to provide travel health information.