U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States.
U.S. Medicare and Medicard programs do not provide payment for medical
services outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance which
includes specific overseas coverage, including provisions for medical
evacuation, is highly recommended, as in-country medical evacuations from
outlying areas to Santiago cost 2,000 U.S. dollars or more. For travelers
to the Antarctic and/or Easter Island, additional insurance to cover the
cost of air evacuation specifically from those remote regions is strongly
recommended. In the event of illness, injury, or even death, the cost
of evacuation from the Antarctic region to Santiago alone can exceed 50,000
U.S. dollars. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may
face extreme difficulties. Please check with your own insurance company
to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provisions
for medical evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be made
to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later
for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage
for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event
|CDC Recommends the Following Vaccines (as Appropriate
See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for immunizations to take effect.
"Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
"Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay 6 months in the region, or be exposed through medical treatment.
"Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
"Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
"Yellow fever vaccination, if you will be traveling outside urban areas.
"As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not complete the series as infants.
To Stay Healthy, Do:
"Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
"Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an "absolute 1-micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. "Absolute 1-micron filters" are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
"Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
"If you will be visiting an area where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
"Protect yourself from insects by remaining in well-screened areas, using repellents (applied sparingly at 4-hour intervals) and permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants from dusk through dawn.
"To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
"Always use condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
"Don't eat food purchased from street vendors.
|"Don't drink beverages with ice.
"Don't eat dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
"Don't share needles with anyone.
"Don't handle animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague).
"Don't swim in fresh water. Salt water is usually safer.
What You Need To Bring with You:
"Long-sleeved shirt and long pants to wear while outside whenever possible, to prevent illnesses carried by insects (e.g., malaria, dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis).
"Insect repellent containing DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide), in 30percent-35percent strength for adults and 6percent-10percent for children, as well as a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin. (Bed nets can be purchased in camping or military supply stores.) Bed nets may also protect against insect bites that transmit Chagas disease.
"Over-the-counter antidiarrheal medicine to take if you have diarrhea.
"Lodine tablets and water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available. See Do's above for more detailed information about water filters.
"Sunblock, sunglasses, hat.
"Prescription medications: make sure you have enough to last during your trip, as well as a copy of the prescription(s).
After You Return Home:
If you have visited an area where there is risk for malaria, continue taking your malaria medication weekly for 4 weeks after you leave the area. If you become ill with a fever--even as long as a year after your trip--tell your doctor that you traveled to a malaria-infected area.
|TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions
that differ significantly from those in the United
States. The information below concerning Chile is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Fair
Although major roads in Chile are generally in good condition, secondary roads are sometimes poorly maintained and/or lighted. At night, heavy fog conditions in rural areas have led to multiple-vehicle accidents with occasional deaths and injuries. Traffic jams during peak hours in downtown Santiago and other neighboring areas are common. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive. Driving under the influence of alcohol in Chile is severely penalized and can lead to incarceration if the driver is involved in an accident. Additional road condition and safety information may be obtained from the Chilean Automobile Association, Avenida Vitacura 8620, Santiago, tel. (56-2) 212-5702. The National Tourist Bureau, SERNATUR, is located at Avenida Providencia 1550, Santiago, tel. (56-2) 236-1420 or 1416 or via their Internet site at http://www.sernatur.cl.
The U.S. Embassy also advises visitors to Chile that, according to local law, they must have an international driver's license in order to drive. Although car rental firms rent to clients with no international driver's license, several persons driving with only a U.S. license have been detained by the police for prolonged periods.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Chile's Civil Aviation Authority as Category 1 ? in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Chile's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet web site at . The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD
policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. 1-618-256-4801.
|EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in
or visiting Chile are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of
the U.S. Embassy in Santiago and obtain updated information on travel and
security in Chile. The U.S. Embassy is located at Avenida Andres Bello 2800,
Santiago; tel. (56-2) 232-2600; after hours tel. (56-2) 330-3321. The Embassy's
mailing address is Casilla 27-D, Santiago; the Consular fax number is (56-2)
330-3005. The Embassy home page is: http://www.usembassy.cl.
SAFETY/SECURITY: There are no known threats directed specifically against U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Chile. Traditionally, September 11-18 is an active period for public demonstrations. Violent political, labor, or student protests can occur at other times also, often near government buildings in Santiago and Valparaiso or in the vicinity of major universities. No matter when such assemblies occur, American citizens traveling or residing in Chile are advised to take common-sense precautions and avoid any large gatherings or any other event where crowds have congregated to demonstrate or protest. Additional advice about demonstrations, particularly during the September period, may be obtained from the U.S. Embassy at the telephone numbers listed below.
There are credible reports that land mines may pose a danger to hikers in remote sections of several popular national reserves and parks near northern border areas, including Lauca and Llullaillaco National Parks, Salar de Surire National Monument, and Los Flamencos National Reserve. Visitors should check with park authorities before entering less-traveled areas and observe all warning signs.
CRIME INFORMATION: Street crime is a problem in metropolitan Santiago in general and specifically in the city center. One should be particularly alert while walking in the downtown area, especially in the late afternoon, after dark, or on weekends, even in well-traveled areas. In Santiago and other large Chilean cities, thieves thrive on rush hour crowding on the street and aboard public transportation.
Crime is also prevalent at crowded tourist locations, at Metro (subway) stations, on trains and buses, and occasionally in taxis. Persons wearing expensive-looking jewelry or carrying luggage or cameras are favorite targets for pickpockets and purse snatchers. Bags and briefcases are stolen from chairs in restaurants and outdoor cafes. Outside Santiago, robberies and assaults have occurred most frequently in the Viña del Mar and Valparaiso area, which becomes increasingly crowded during the height of
the Chilean summer season (December through February).
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately
to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens
can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for
ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. This publication and others,
such as Tips for Travelers to Central and South America are available
by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402; via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs;
or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
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