Health Information for Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Health Information for Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Medical Considerations for Travel to Ecuador:

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you see a doctor specializing in Travel Medicine 4-6 weeks prior to your travel to Ecuador in order for needed vaccines to take effect.  Find a travel medicine clinic near you.

Vaccine recommendations for travel to Ecuador:

  • Routine: Verify that you are up-to-date on all routine vaccinations such as measles, tetanus, etc.
  • Hepatitis A: Exposure to the virus Hepatitis A can occur through consumption of contaminated food or water.  Cases of travel-related hepatitis A can occur in travelers to developing countries with “standard” tourist itineraries, accommodations, and food consumption behaviors.
  • Hepatitis B: Recommended for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission especially those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
  • Typhoid: Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in Tropical South America, especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water.
  • Yellow Fever:
  • Requirements: Required for travelers 1 year of age or older arriving from a country with risk of Yellow Fever Virus (YFV) transmission. Ecuador citizens and residents are required to possess certificates of vaccination on their departure to an area with risk of YFV transmission.
  • Recommended for all travelers 9 months of age and older traveling to areas less than 2,300 m (7545 ft) in elevation in the following provinces east of the Andes Mountains: Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbios, and Zamora-Chinchipe.
  • Yellow Fever vaccination should be given 10 days before travel.

Malaria in Ecuador:

Although the relative risk of tourists contracting Malaria in Ecuador is low, anti-malaria precautions are recommended for all areas less than 1,500 meters (4,921 ft.) in elevation. Malaria is not present in the cities of Guayaquil and Quito or the Galapagos Islands. Travelers who are only going to these cities or the Galapagos do not need to take anti-malarial precautions.  To determine which precautions are most effective, its best to visit a travel medicine clinic at least 4 weeks prior to your visit (in order for the anti malarials to take effect).

More Tips for Staying Healthy during your trip to Ecuador

  • *Wear Sunscreen (especially if traveling to high altitudes where the sun is stronger)
  • *Avoid altitude sickness: If you are visiting the Andes Mountains ascend gradually, stay well-hydrated, wear appropriate clothing and if you notice signs of altitude sickness, descend to a lower altitude and seek medical assistance.
  • *Prevent insect bites: Wear lightweight long-sleeved clothing and pants to decrease your chances of insect bites and use insect repellent with 30%-50% DEET.
  • *Prevent animal bites: Avoid touching or approaching any animals.  Ensure that you are up to date on your Tetanus vaccination prior to travel.  If you are bitten or scratched, wash the wound with soap and water and go to a doctor immediately.
  • *Avoid illness: Wash hands frequently (or use an alcohol based hand sanitizing gel), avoid eating food sold by street vendors, drink only bottled water, and make sure food is completely cooked.

Don’t forget:

  • *Sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and sunglasses
  • *Insect Repellent
  • *Anti-Diarrhea Medicine (can be purchased over the counter in most pharmacies)
  • *Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer

For further health information for Travelers to Ecuador and/or the Galapagos Islands, visit the CDC Website.

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