There's a lot to consider when planning a trip to Ecuador — from preparing for the climate to deciding where you'll stay and what you'll do. But two of the most important things to think about are your health and safety.
In this post, we'll go over the key immunizations you need for a safe and healthy trip to Ecuador. So read on, travelers! We've got all the information you need to keep yourself protected during your travels.
Ecuador Travel Vaccines
There are several recommended vaccines for travel to Ecuador, depending on your itinerary and activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends the following immunizations for Ecuador travelers:
- Routine vaccines (all ages)
- Chickenpox (varicella)
- Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DPT or TdaP)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- COVID-19 (ages 5 years and older)
- Hepatitis A (all ages)
- Hepatitis B (all ages
- Measles (MMR - 6 months and up)
- Yellow Fever
- May be required if other yellow fever endemic countries are included on your itinerary.
- Recommended for all travelers aged 9 months and older traveling to provinces located east of the Andes Mountains, such as Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbios, and Zamora-Chinchipe
- Generally not recommended for travelers going to provinces west of the Andes Mountains, such as the Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Rios, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, and designated areas of Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Imbabura, Loja, Pichincha, and Tungurahua
- Not recommended for those going to the cities of Guayaquil and Quito or the Galápagos Islands
Risks of Traveling To Ecuador Without Vaccines
Can you still travel to the country without getting the recommended vaccinations for Ecuador? It depends. Some immunizations may be required to visit specific areas in Ecuador while others are generally recommended.
It is your responsibility as a traveler, however, to ensure that you are well protected from any disease while on foreign soil. There are several risks associated with traveling to Ecuador without being properly vaccinated.
- You may be exposed to diseases that are rare in your home country, such as yellow fever or typhoid fever.
- You may be at risk for more serious diseases if you are not vaccinated, such as hepatitis A or hepatitis B.
- You may not have access to quality medical care if you become ill while traveling in Ecuador.
- You may be detained or quarantined if you are found to have a disease that is considered a risk to other Ecuadorians.
- You may have to pay for medical care if you become ill while in Ecuador.
- You may increase the risk of bringing a dangerous disease back to your home country.
When it comes to protecting yourself when traveling outside of the U.S., it's best to be safe rather than sorry. Schedule a pre-travel health consultation with a travel health specialist to determine which vaccines you should have based on your itinerary.
Common Diseases That May Be Found In Ecuador
There are several diseases that travelers may be exposed to while in Ecuador. These diseases include:
Malaria is a parasitic infection that is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Malaria is present in certain areas of Ecuador, including East of the Andes Mountains. Your travel health consultant is the best person to advise you on whether or not you need to take malaria prevention medication.
Prevent Malaria and other insect-borne diseases by staying covered as much as possible, using a DEET-based insect repellent, and treating your clothing with permethrin.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that is spread through contaminated food and water. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, and loss of appetite. A vaccine is available to help prevent typhoid fever, but it is still important to practice safe food and water hygiene.
Yellow fever is a viral infection that is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes and can be fatal. There is no treatment for yellow fever, but there is an effective vaccine. The yellow fever vaccine is generally not recommended for itineraries limited to Quito and the Galapagos Islands, but may be recommended or even required for travel to other areas. The chance of getting yellow fever is also reduced by practicing good insect bite prevention measures.
Getting Vaccines for Travel to Ecuador
If you're planning a trip to Ecuador, it's important to get your immunizations well in advance. This will give you enough time to complete the full series of shots, if necessary. You can get all of the immunizations you need at your local health department or travel clinic.
If you need vaccinations for the Galapagos or anywhere in Ecuador, contact TravelBug Health. We offer all the vaccinations mentioned above and more. Our clinic is also certified by the World Health Organization as an official yellow fever vaccination center. Our staff can recommend the right vaccinations based on your travel itinerary and health history.
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are always popular adventure travel destinations. Nestled in the high Andes at 9,350 feet above sea level, Quito is the second highest capital in the world. Your travel health specialist has the knowledge to advise you on other common health risks such as altitude and motion sickness, travelers' diarrhea, and water safety.
TravelBug Health offers comprehensive pre-travel health consultations that can help protect you wherever you may be going abroad.
Contact TravelBug Health today for more information.