General Question

christybird's avatar

What shots should I get for a trip to Ecuador?

Asked by christybird (813points) January 8th, 2008

I’m going this summer – I’ll probably end up spending most of my time in the mountains but would also like to visit the rainforest and the coast. What vaccinations should I get? Should I take malaria meds? I am a poor grad student, so I don’t want to shell out cash for unnecessary vaccines/ medications, but I also want to be safe and healthy.

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6 Answers

thegodfather's avatar

You will definitely want to get malaria and tuberculosis shots. The hepatitis shots are important too, but you may want to ask a doctor about that if you’re just going for a couple weeks. Also, I’d look into dengue fever. I lived in Ecuador for two years and saw a few cases of dengue and TB. I, myself, am a malaria survivor… there was a volcano eruption and lots of toxins were in the air. How could I have predicted a volcano would give me malaria and not mosquitoes? Anyway, hope this helps. Being in the mountains you should be good with the shots mentioned. It’s the coast and rainforests you want to be careful with. And be sure to check out the Otavalanean market while you’re there.

Breefield's avatar

I lived in Ecuador for 5 years, Malaria is the big one. I’d also say, no matter what you’re going to get sick, visitors always seemed to…usually just the stomach flu though. I’d pack some Imodium, it’ll be a godsend when you need to make those 10 hour non-stop bus rides.
If you haven’t settled on the places you’re going yet I’d suggest Banos, Shell, and Tena – if you’re at all into water sports, they have exellent rivers and guides down there for whitewater kayak/playboating.

theabk's avatar

You can check out the CDC recommendations for vaccinations/meds for travel to Ecuador here: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationEcuador.aspx

shilolo's avatar

@thegodfather: There really are no such things as malaria, tuberculosis or dengue “shots”. Malaria is prevented by taking oral medications (depending on where you travel) and using bed nets and DEET. There is no effective vaccine for tuberculosis or dengue, so those are out. I would second theabk’s recommendation to check the CDC website (this is for all travelors) and go to a travel clinic for shots (your regular doctor will be unlikely to carry many of the shots or pills that you need).

Just_a_Nurse's avatar

I am a RN, and know without a doubt there are no shots for Malaria or TB just as Shilolo stated. You need to take anti-malaria (anti-viral) meds with you. You are almost 100 % sure to get diarrhea so be sure to take meds with you for that. Hepatitis is prevelant in South America, A, B, & C so if you have time get started on those vaccinations as soon as possible. There isn’t one for Hep C but some people believe the 3 series vaccine for Heb B may give you some protection from it. A vacation is wonderful, but only if your healthy. Check out the information at the CDC to find out exactly what you need to do. I am sure it changes as new strains of diseases are mutating every day. Personally, I would just see the Good Old USA. I doubt anyone has managed to see it all. Have a safe and healthy trip, wherever you go.

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