North America



• Canada

• Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)

• United States

Health Risks

• Coccidioidomycosis

• Diarrhea

• Hantavirus

• Histoplasmosis

• Lyme Disease

• Pertussis

• Plague

• Rabies

• Viral encephalitis

• West Nile Virus

Preventing Health Problems

Recommended Vaccines

• Routine Vaccinations – including polio, measles-mumps-and-rubella (MMR), tetanus-diphtheria-and-pertussis (Tdap), and yearly influenza vaccines.

• Hepatitis B

Avoiding Bug Bites

• In North America, just as in other countries, mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs can spread diseases. There are some simple yet effective precautions you can take to prevent bug bites.

o Using insect repellent with 30-50% DEET is a very effective way to keep insects at bay. Some insects are more common in certain areas than in others, but nonetheless there are bugs so plan on taking insect repellent.

o Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, especially in the morning and at night as insects tend to be more active at cooler and darker times of the day.

Food and Water

• Food and water are generally safe in this part of the world, that being said you should still use standard food and water precautions to avoid food and water borne illnesses. These precautions include:

o Washing your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before eating.

o Not eating unpasteurized dairy products

Avoiding Injuries

• It is very common that missionaries drive and/or ride bikes in North America. As it stands a lot of the injuries that are sustained in North America are from these two activities. In order to reduce injuries while driving it is very important to wear a seat belt at all times while in a car. The best way to prevent serious injuries while riding a bike is to wear a helmet. This is a simple yet very effective way to prevent head injuries.

Avoiding Animals

• Animals of all kinds are very effective at spreading disease. The most common disease that is spread by animals in this part of the world is rabies. Avoid touching animals as much as possible especially dogs and cats.

Sun Exposure

• Too much sun exposure can increase your risk for getting skin cancer. Always wear sunscreen when outdoors.

Recommended Items to Bring

General Health and Medications

• Any medications you take regularly at home

• Pain reliever such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or aspirin

• 1% hydrocortisone cream

• Anti-itch cream

• Antifungal cream

• Saline eye drops

• Anti motion sickness medication (if necessary)

• Thermometer

Avoiding Bug Bites

• Insect repellent with 30-50% DEET

• Long-sleeved shirts and pants

Food and Water

These items are helpful in reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses.

• Hand soap

• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer

• Water bottle

Avoiding Injuries

This list includes items that you should take if you are riding a bike as well as some of the items that you should find in a first aid kit.

• Bicycle helmet

• Bicycle multi-tool

• Basic first aid kit

o Multiple sizes of adhesive bandages

o Antibiotic ointment

o Butterfly bandages

o Gauze pads

o Alcohol wipes

o Adhesive tape

o Blistoban

o Moleskin or Molefoam

o Burn treatment gel

o Tweezers

• Compression bandage

Sun Exposure

• Sunscreen and sunburn lotion such as aloe vera can go a long way to preventing and treating sunburns.