Guam

Guam

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Territory of Guam is a small island located in Oceania, in the north Pacific Ocean. The island was occupied by Spain until 1898 when Spain ceded control of Guam to the United States (U.S.). In 1941, during World War II, Guam was briefly captured by Japan, but control of the island was quickly reassumed by the Americans in 1944. Today, the island is a self-governing territory of the U.S., administered by the American government. In this presidential democracy, the chief of state is the president of the U.S., while the head of government is the governor of Guam. The people of Guam are American citizens, though they do not have the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections.

Guam’s location in Oceania contributes to its tropical climate. The temperature varies little throughout the year. Precipitation, cyclones, major flooding, and landslides are common in the rainy season (July-December).

The U.S. military occupies approximately one-third of the island’s territory, making Guam an important U.S. military base. The military operations in Guam also play an important role in supporting the island’s economy.

The population of Guam is approximately 162,742 people (2016 estimate) with people from European, Asian, American and indigenous cultures. This cultural diversity, along with the territory’s beautiful island landscapes and climate, is what draws over 1 million tourists to the island each year. On the island of Guam, tourists can find this cultural blend permeating the food, music and the arts, making the island of Guam a unique tourist destination.

Currency USD: US Dollar
Language English and Chamorro
Capital Hagatna (Agana)
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Guam. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A virus in Guam through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in this country.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Guam, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in Guam.

Rabies

Rabies may be present in bats, but has not been reported in domestic or wild animals in this country.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to Guam are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Japanese encephalitis

NaTHNaC states that outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis can occur in Guam. The transmission season is typically thought to be from September to January. Outdoor activity in rural areas will increase this risk.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Guam.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A in this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers whose activities or employment may bring them into direct contact with bats (i.e. adventure travellers, veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers, etc.).

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

This vaccination is recommended for travellers who plan extensive outdoor activity in rural areas between the months of September to January.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Guam.

None required.

Safety and Security in Guam

Emergency Numbers

911

Although high-quality medical facilities may be available in Guam, medical costs are very high.

Personal Safety

There is general hospitality towards tourists in Guam. Nevertheless, travellers are advised to take normal precautions to stay safe and avoid petty crime and theft. Always be alert to your surroundings. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Keep identification with you at all times. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never let your drink out of your sight.

Safety standards for transportation and adventure activities may be lower in Guam, and the traveller should exercise caution.

Due to Guam’s location in an active earthquake zone, seismic activity is not uncommon. Tsunamis may result from this seismic activity.

The traveller should be aware of whether they are travelling during monsoon season (June to December) as monsoons may cause infrastructure damage, flooding, and landslides. Be aware that tropical storms can occur throughout the year and can cause similar damage as monsoons. The traveller should inform themselves of the region’s evacuation plan in the case of a natural disaster and should monitor weather updates from the World Meteorological Organization.

In 2015, Guam became the first US territory to legalize same-sex marriage.

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