Visit Turks and Caicos Islands does not provide medical advice. Always consult a qualified doctor for medical advice. If you are in the Turks and Caicos and are experiencing a medical emergency, call the emergency services on 911.
Update: The Zika virus was confirmed in the Turks and Caicos on 22 July 2016, with five cases. There have been no new confirmed cases of Zika in the Turks and Caicos in 2017 (May, 2017).
The Turks and Caicos Islands do not have any native diseases or health risks. The environment is free of industrial pollution, resulting in clean air and water.
Most visitors to the islands don't experience any health issues, the most serious issue usually being a case of sunburn.
You are not required to have any vaccinations and none of the international or major national organizations recommend any vaccinations prior to travel.
Providenciales has a new hospital and several private health practices and dental clinics.
Local medical facilities are able to handle most situations that arise. Medical emergencies that cannot be handled are stabilized and flown by air ambulance to Miami or Nassau.
Providenciales has several pharmacies if you should need any medication while on your trip. You are advised to bring extra medication with you on your trip, as local pharmacies may not always have your required medication in stock.
Sunburn is a common problem here on Providenciales. Temperatures during the day can pass 100 Fahrenheit or 37 Celsius, and the sun is very intense. Use plenty of sun cream and wear a hat to prevent sunburn. It's not unusual for visitors to fall asleep on the beach, only to awake and find themselves completely sun burnt.
Dehydration is another common problem. The heat causes you to lose vast amounts of water through perspiration, and it will be necessary to drink extra fluids to compensate for this loss. You will also need to replace salt lost, so be sure to use extra on your food.
During the rainy season (April-July), mosquitoes can be a severe nuisance, although fortunately they do not carry any diseases. Use an insect repellent, and wear long-sleeve shirts and trousers if needed.
The Zika virus was confirmed in the Turks and Caicos on 22 July 2016, with five cases.
Zika is primarily transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can certainly be found in the Turks and Caicos at times. However, it’s important to understand that the mosquito spreads the virus from an infected host. To transmit Zika, a mosquito has to have previously bitten an infected person.
One local plant, Coral Sumac, known locally as poisonwood, is found on all islands (except Salt Cay). This plant, if touched, can produce a rash (ranging from medium to extremely harsh). In extreme situations, it can cause the skin to break and require stitches. It's easily identified by darker green waxy leaves, and has small, round yellow fruits (which are also extremely poisonous). It's not found at any of the hotels or in the tourist area. You only have to worry about this if you travel to some of the more remote areas.
The Rosary Pea is a small bush which produces small red berries. This plant is rare, although it can be found on North and Middle Caicos. This plant is extremely dangerous and consumption of the berries can be fatal.
There are several types of fire and stinging corals in the Turks and Caicos. Don’t stand on or touch the reef!
A few different types of jellyfish can be found in the Turks and Caicos.
The upside-down jellyfish is the only variety of jellyfish that can be regularly found. This unique creature lives in the sheltered wetlands and shallow around our archipelago, and usually won’t be encountered at beaches or in the open ocean. This jellyfish has a rather anaemic sting, typically only causing itchy welts on sensitive skin.
Small green or brown thimble jellyfish are the most obnoxious type to encounter, and swarms sometimes make their appearance in the spring months. Similar to the upside-down jellyfish, these critters cause itchy or discomforting skin conditions rather than actual stings. If you do notice these 1 inch wide (2.5cm) jellyfish, we advise avoiding the area they are even if there are only a few, as the miniscule larvae can also cause an unpleasant skin effect.
Larger and open ocean jellyfish are occasionally sighted around the Turks and Caicos, yet are very uncommon at beaches or places where people may be swimming.
All of the main islands except Salt Cay have medical personnel. Providenciales and Grand Turk also each have a large hospital.