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Vaccinations, Inoculations, Immunizations, Travel Health - Ecuador

Vaccination information for other places

Routine Vaccinations

Before travel, be sure you and your children are up to date on all routine immunizations according to schedules approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP). See the schedule for adults and the schedule for infants and children. Some schedules can be accelerated for travel.

See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. It might not be too late to get your shots or medications as well as other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.

Recommended Vaccinations

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Tropical South America. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

Required Vaccinations

Yellow fever is present in this region and vaccination is recommended if you travel to the endemic zones in any of these countries. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries if you have visited an endemic area. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

Diseases found in Tropical South America (risk can vary by country and region within a country; quality of in-country surveillance also varies)

Malaria

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness.

Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including some cities. Travelers to malaria-risk areas, including infants, children, and former residents of South America, should take an antimalarial drug.

For additional information on malaria risk and prevention, see Malaria Information for Travelers to Tropical South America.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is present in this region and vaccination is recommended if you travel to the endemic zones. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries if you have visited an endemic area. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

Food and Waterborne Diseases

Make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food and waterborne diseases are the primary cause of illness in travelers. Travelers’ diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout Tropical South America and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage ( hepatitis). Brucellosis is occasionally seen in travelers, most commonly acquired through eating or drinking contaminated milk products.

Additional information: see the Safe Food and Water page for a list of links.

Other Disease Risks

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Epidemics of viral encephalitis and dengue fever occur in some countries in this area. Bartonellosis, or Oroya fever (a sand fly-borne disease), occurs in arid river valleys on the western slopes of the Andes up to 3,000 meters (9,842 feet). Louse-borne typhus, a rickettsial infection is often found in mountain areas of Colombia and Peru. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that can be contracted in fresh water in this region, is found in Brazil, Suriname, and north-central Venezuela. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Precautions.)

If you visit the Andes Mountains, ascend gradually to allow time for your body to adjust to the high altitude, which can cause insomnia, headaches, nausea, and altitude sickness. In addition, use sunblock rated at least 15 SPF, because the risk of sunburn is greater at high altitudes.

Other Health Risks

Injuries

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from motor vehicle injuries: avoid drinking and driving; wear your safety belt and place children in age-appropriate restraints in the back seat; follow the local customs and laws regarding pedestrian safety and vehicle speed; obey the rules of the road; and use helmets on bikes, motorcycles, and motor bikes. Avoid boarding an overloaded bus or mini-bus. Where possible, hire a local driver.

What You Need To Bring With You

Staying Healthy During Your Trip

Travelers should take the following precautions

To stay healthy, do...

Do not

After You Return Home

If you have visited a malaria-risk area, continue taking your antimalarial drug for 4 weeks (chloroquine, doxycycline, or mefloquine) or seven days (atovaquone/proguanil) after leaving the risk area.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the physician your travel history.

Important: This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region. Consult with your doctor for specific information related to your needs and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.

Date: July 19, 2005
Content Source: National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine