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Mirhanna Sandoya of Lucero Homes, Golf & Country Club – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panamanian jungle – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Panama, you don’t have to worry about diseases that you don’t have in North America. I understand that people are concerned about that. When I left in Taiwan, I traveled to Thailand and to Indonesia, and they made me get the shot for the Yellow Fever and a bunch of other things. I know that most of the developed countries’ residents get pretty much scared when it comes to these diseases that they can’t control, but thank God, we do not have any of those diseases here in Panama.
 
They built the Panama Canal hundreds of years ago. It was built due to the fact that they were cutting the Amazons, and there were so many things that people didn’t know at that time that they couldn’t control. Then you have all these foreigners coming from China and from South Africa to do heavy labor at the Panama Canal. Within that, probably, the diseases may have come in the ship with them. But these diseases were controlled, and thank God we do not have that now.
 
I wouldn’t just go into the jungle around Boquete, not because I’m scared of catching a disease, but because it’s not safe wandering around the forest, especially in the Boquete area because everything looks all the same and you may easily get lost. It happened to a couple of Dutch girls last year. The girls got lost in the mountains. There was another case where Panamanians who were trying to hike the Volcán Barú, (the highest peak in Panama) also got lost while hiking on the route without a tour guide. They had to call the police and the firemen, and everyone was looking for them before they were eventually found.  
 
(Panamanian jungle, pictured.)
Iván Eskildsen of Cubitá Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Las Yayas Falls, Barrigon, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMalaria, yellow fever, or diseases of this kind are not common in the heavily populated areas or the main cities of Panama. I haven’t heard of any case of chikungunya or zika virus in our main cities.
 
As always, if you are outside of our main cities, it’s always nice to check where the drinking water comes from. But generally, the main cities are very safe. It is the same as what you would experience in the US, where I lived for 4 years, where I studied at Bentley College just outside of Boston. Panama is pretty much the same as the US in regard to health standards and safety.
 
(Las Yayas Falls, Barrigon, Panama, pictured.)
Jonathan Stolarz of COSTA LINDA RESIDENCE CLUB – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Life_Cycle_of_the_Malaria_Parasite – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is no need to worry about malaria, yellow fever, and such diseases in Panama.  I am originally from Argentina, and we didn’t have problems with malaria and yellow fever, either.  When I came here in Panama for the first time, I did not need any special shots, vaccinations, or medicine.  I don’t know of anyone who has those diseases, either.
 
(Life Cycle of the Malaria Parasite, pictured.)
Gonzalo de la Guardia of Panasurance – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I don’t worry about diseases such as malaria or yellow fever in Panama; not anymore. The government has campaigns against mosquitoes on an ongoing basis because this is The Tropics, which is the perfect place for insects.
 
The government keeps track of each case. There have been cases of dengue fever here and for sure, it can happen any time because again, this is The Tropics. Malaria is something that is only common in the jungle. The jungles are far from Panama City. In an average place where people live, these things should not be a concern.
Terry Bradford of Origen Real Estate Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Darien provinces border Panama Colombia Malaria Yellow fever Dengue – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou would only worry about malaria, yellow fever and other diseases here in Panama, if you go to the deep Darien provinces that border Colombia that are sparsely populated by indigenous tribes. (Pictured to the right.)

The only vaccinations that we had to get in order to move here were anti-tetanus, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. We have malaria pills but we do not take them because we do not go into the deep jungles of the Darien, although we plan to do that in the future.

There is another disease here in Panama, which is called Dengue fever. I think it is mostly caused by dense living conditions or if people do not have good hygiene at home. Dengue is a very heavy strain of the flu virus and you would have to be taken to a hospital if you caught this virus. We have a couple of friends who had Dengue and it took them about a week or two to recover from it.

Dennis Dean Smith of DennisDeanSmith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Mosquitoes in Panama and the Dengue Issue.

Aedes mosquito Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMosquitoes are always a bother in a tropical place like Panama. Now the problem is getting a bit more serious so here is what I consider a public health announcement. Enter our new neighbor Aedes aegypti, which transmits Dengue. This is an ugly little striped creature, even as mosquitoes go. What is does is uglier and can be fatal.

So far there have been 13 deaths this year from the Aedes bite and a couple hundreds others nationwide have shown symptoms. Ages range from 4 months to octogenarians. Once bitten, victims can experience headaches, chills, pain in the eyes, lower back, legs and joints, fever, low heart rate and blood pressure. You can also look for a disappearing pink rash and swollen lymph nodes. The initial incubation period lasts from 3 to 15 days on average.

There is no “miracle cure” for Dengue. The key is recognizing you might have it early and get to a doctor – who is versed on treatment in Panama. Mainly symptoms will be relieved via hydration, aspirin, fluid intake and possibly anti-inflammatory drugs, among others. Again the key is don't wait.

Panama is doing a good job of combating the Acedes. The pest breeds in standing water and in garbage heaps. National health authorities are fumigating every area they can at the country's expense, fines have been imposed for not clearing up garbage and water hazards, national TV and radio campaigns are on the air. Many local communities are working together to do clean up in their neighborhoods as well.

The next eradication step is an experimental program between England's Oxitec and Panama to introduce sterile male mosquitoes to breed with female Aedes. (Not to make light of a serious subject but I love the quote from one British journalist, “Male mosquitoes to be sent on suicide mission to mate with wild females.” ) The program implementation will be evaluated by Panama’s Gorgas Institute, which is world famous for tropical disease research.

This is not a pleasant post but you need to know. Use plenty of mosquito repellent and watch the local news for updates and advice.

Gilberto Barria Vallarino of BodyMind Dojo – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
As far as mosquitoes go, your concern has to be with Dengue.  It is a problem in certain areas where waters are stagnant, mostly in urban areas close to Panama City and Colon.  The situation is caused mostly by human negligence.  The problematic areas (if one believes local newspapers) are around Chorrera (Western Panana), San Miguelito in Panama City and certain areas of Chiriqui where there are waste disposal deficiencies.
Allen Rosen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Tropical diseases such as malaria and yellow fever have been effectively eradicated in Panama. This is a pretty safe country from a public health perspective.
 
The only tropical disease that continues to present a threat is dengue, which is nasty but rarely fatal, and can be prevented by avoiding areas where there is standing water in which mosquitos breed.
 
Roy Cannon of Gestoria Cocle - main office in Penoneme – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mosquitos do exist in Panama, even in the cities.  The most frequent health problem encountered, and this is not to say that it is a frequent problem, is dengue.  Other tropical diseases that are insect borne are at times an issue in the jungles or mangrove swamp areas, but not generally in "civilized" areas.
 
Your greater health risk in Panama is the abundance of fried foods....if it can be prepared by deep frying, you can bet it will be offered to you.  Diabetes is a big problem in Panama. Check out the waist lines as you travel the country, in large part due to their dietary preferences.  
 
gabriel illescas of SIUMA REALTY – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I do not think you have to worry about Malaria and Yellow Fever whilst living in Panama. Malaria and Yellow fever were diseases suffered by the Canal workers in the 1900's. Still I think in most countries they will advice you to get Routine Vaccines. 
If you plan to visit Darien (thats the province that borders Colombia) where the population is mostly indigenous then I would be concerned about it. 
In the past few years, due to irresponsible people, we had a Dengue Plague. Dengue fever is transmitted by a mosquito called Aedes Aegypti.  After several national campaigns and community support, we managed to control the situation once again. 
 

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