Travel Tips for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Updated Intl. Guide – Travel Medicine, Inc.
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Capital: Kingstown

Time Zone: -4 hours.
Tel. Country Code: 809
USADirect Tel.: 1
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 120/60 (volts/hz). Grounding Adaptor Plug A.

Travel Advisory - St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Travelers to Central and South America and the Caribbean need to protect themselves against mosquito-transmitted viruses, such as dengue and Zika, as well as nighttime biting mosquitoes in countries where there is  the threat of malaria. I recommend all travelers use a combination of DEET or Picaridin repellent on their skin and Permethrin fabric insecticide on their clothing for greater than 99% protection against mosquito and tick bites.

Dr. Rose Recommends for Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Resource Links

World Health Organization
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office


• There is no resident United States government office in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the U.S. Embassy in Barbados:
The U.S. Embassy
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wildey Business Park
[246] 431-0225
After hours: [246] 436-4950

• There is no resident Canadian government office in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information at the following address:
High Commission of Canada
Bishop's Court Hill
St. Michael
Bridgetown, Barbados
Tel: [246] 429-3550
Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 1-888-949-9993

• There is no resident British government office in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information at the following address:
Non-Resident Commissioner
British High Commission
Granby Street
Telephone: [784] 457 1701

Entry Requirements

HIV Test: Not required.

Required Vaccinations: Yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers >1 year of age arriving from any country in the yellow fever endemic zones in Africa or the Americas.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an English-speaking developing Caribbean island nation. Tourism facilities are widely available. 
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: For information concerning entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 364-6730, or the consulate in New York.

Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers who might be exposed to blood or body fluids from unprotected sex; from injecting drug use with shared/re-used needles and syringes; from medical treatment with non-sterile (re-used) needles and syringes; from contact with open skin sores. Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The new Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.

Typhoid: Recommended for all travelers with the exception of short-term visitors who restrict their meals to major restaurants and hotels, such as business travelers and cruise passengers.

Hospitals / Doctors

There are six public hospitals, including Kingstown General Hospital, and Maryfield Hospital, Lowmans and Bequia Casualty Hospital, Port Elizabeth, and three privately owned hospitals. Community care is provided by 38 outpatient clinics located throughout the country. Secondary care is offered at the General Hospital in Kingstown. Acute care, not requiring specialist intervention, is also provided by five rural hospitals.
All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers’ diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country. The equivalent drugs may not be available.
• We strongly recommend that travelers obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before departure. Be sure the policy provides for medical evacuation to more advanced medical facility, on another island or the United States, in the event of serious illness or injury.

Health centres are well staffed and provide a wide range of services, including emergency care. There is no hyperbaric chamber, so divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island. The closest decompressin chamber is in Barbados.

The U.S. Consulate in Barbados has a listing of hospitals and doctors in St. Vincent and the Grenadines at:

• Milton Cato Memorial Hospital

Tel: [784] 456-1185
Facilities: Trauma capacity for 30 males and 29 females. There are 211 total beds. The hospital has x-ray facilities, there is a CAT scan at the Caribbean Medical Imaging Center in Kingstown (not part of the hospital). A diagnostic laboratory and blood bank are available, but there are no hyperbaric chamber or dialysis facilities. Ambulance service in St. Vincent is quick and response in the emergency room is immediate. Ambulance crews are allowed to perform CPR and basic life support services. The facility has a staff of 24 physicians and surgeons of almost all specialties.

• Chatteaubelair Hospital
Tel: [784] 458-2228

Facilities: 15 beds. No trauma capacity.

• Georgetown Hospital
Tel: [784] 458-6652
Facilities: 20 beds. No trauma capacity.

• Levi Latham Health Center
Mesopotamia Valley
Tel: [78] 458-5245

Facilities: 12 beds. No trauma capacity.

• Port Elizabeth Hospital
Bequia (Island) 

Tel: [784] 458-3294

Facilities: 12 beds. No trauma capacity.

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: The Caribbean has a well-established HIV epidemic and the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the region is now second only to sub-Saharan Africa, making the region the second most affected in the world. The prevalence of HIV in the Caribbean is estimated to be between 1.1% and 2.2%; among young people 15-24 years of age, HIV prevalence is approximately 1.6% for women and 0.7% for men. The Bahamas and Haiti are most affected countries, with incidence rates exceeding 3%. Trinidad and Tobago’s national adult incidence of HIV exceeds 2%.
• The United Nations does not currently publish HIV/AIDS epidemiological fact sheets for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and thus specific HIV/AIDS data are not available for this country.
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

Dengue Fever: Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted, flu-like viral illness widespread in Caribbean and is the most common cause of fever in travelers returned from this region. Cases were last reported officially in 2005, but sporadic illness most likely occurs. Symptoms consist of sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. Dengue is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours. All travelers are at risk and should take measures to prevent daytime mosquito bites. These measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear.
• There is no vaccination or medication to prevent or treat dengue.

Food-Borne Disease: Drinking water outside main cities and towns may be contaminated and sterilization is advised. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafoods and fruit are generally considered safe to eat.
• Travelers should be aware that some types of tropical reef fish are poisonous, even when cooked. Ciguatera poisoning is prevalent and can result from eating coral reef fish such as grouper, snapper, sea bass, jack, and barracuda. The ciguatoxin is not destroyed by cooking.

Hepatitis: All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should be vaccinated against this disease. Travelers who are non-immune to hepatitis A (i.e. have never had the disease and have not been vaccinated) should take particular care to avoid potentially contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E may be endemic but the levels are unclear. Sporadic cases may occur but go underdiagnosed or underreported. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. Farm animals, such as swine, and also deer and wild boar, may serve as a viral reservoirs. (HEV is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food.) In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated at about 3%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic but levels are not well documented. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C - an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the population of the world. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Influenza: Influenza is transmitted year-round in the tropics. The flu vaccine is recommended for all travelers over age 6 months.

Marine Hazards: Swimming related hazards include jellyfish, spiny sea urchins, and coral.
• Scuba Diving-Hyperbaric Chamber Referral: Divers Alert Network (DAN) maintains an up-to-date list of all functioning hyperbaric chambers in North America and the Caribbean. DAN does not publish this list, since at any one time a given chamber may be non-functioning, or its operator(s) may be away or otherwise unavailable. Through Duke University, DAN operates a 24-hour emergency phone line for anyone (members and non-members) to call and ask for diving accident assistance. Dive medicine physicians at Duke University Medical Center carry beepers, so someone is always on call to answer questions and, if necessary, make referral to the closest functioning hyperbaric chamber. In a diving emergency, or for the location of the nearest decompression chamber, call 919-684-8111.

Other Diseases/Hazards: Cutaneous larva migrans is a risk for travelers walking barefoot on beaches.
• Histoplasmosis is found on many islands, and outbreaks have occurred in travelers.
• Leptospirosis may rarely occur, related to recreational freshwater activities; several cases were reported in 2004.
• Foci of schistosomiasis have been active in the past in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and other islands, but pose little risk to travelers on St. Vincent and the Greandines.

Rabies: St. Vincent & The Grenadines is presumed to be rabies-free. All animal bite wounds, however, especially from a dog, should be thoroughly cleansed and then medically evaluated for possible post-exposure treatment.

Travelers' Diarrhea: Low to moderate risk. In urban and resort areas, the hotels and restaurants generally serve reliable food and potable water. Outside of hotels and resorts, we recommend that you filter or purify all drinking water or drink only bottled water or other bottled beverages and do not use ice cubes. Avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or fish. Peel all fruits.
• Wash your hands with soap or detergent, or use a hand sanitizer gel, before you eat. Good hand hygiene reduces the incidence of travelers’ diarrhea by 30%.
• A quinolone antibiotic, azithromycin, or rifaximin (Xifaxin), combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis, amebiasis, or cryptosporidiosis.
• Seek qualified medical care if you have bloody diarrhea and fever, severe abdominal pain, uncontrolled vomiting, or dehydration.

Typhoid Fever: Typhoid is the most serious of the Salmonella infections. Typhoid vaccine is recommended by the CDC for all people (with the exception of short-stay visitors who restrict their meals to hotels or resorts, and cruise ship passengers). traveling to or working in the Caribbean, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi. Travelers should practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.