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    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 27, 15 at 11:33 AM
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Conflicting answers about the water being safe

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I've gotten conflicting answers to this question and didn't see anything recent in the Fodor's archives. I'll be in Panama City and the Canal Zone (mostly on land in CZ) for an upcoming professional trip. Although I don't plan on drinking from any water fountains, is the water in Panama City and CZ (Miraflores locks, Gamboa rainforest, Panama Canal expansion project) safe?

The Fodor's 2nd edition (2010) tourbook for Panama says that the tap water, at least in Panama City and CZ, is safe to drink, use for ice, and for brushing teeth. However, the FAQ sheet that I've received for the trip says not do do any of those. That's the same thing I heard from the travel-medicine doctor.

The Fodor's tourbook seems to have missed the boat on what vaccines are necessary -- it says maybe malaria and maybe yellow fever, while the CDC, FAQ sheet, and travel doctor all strongly recommend those two plus Hepatitis A, Hep B, and typhoid. The fact that the tourbook missed the boat -- a lot -- on vaccines makes me question their advice on the water. While I think avoiding the water is a good recommendation, is it unnecessarily restrictive?

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