Ecuador travel & health   1 comment

Yellow fever

Country requirement

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Nationals and residents of Ecuador are required to possess certificates of vaccination on their departure to an area with risk of yellow fever transmission.


Yellow fever vaccine recommendation: vaccination is recommended when traveling to provinces in the Amazon Basin (Orellana, Morona, Napo, Pastaza, Sucumbíos and Zamora) and to other areas in the eastern part of the Andes mountains. There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in the cities of Guayaquil and Quito or in the Galapagos Islands.


Drugs to Prevent Malaria (antimalarial drugs)

If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Ecuador, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing).

Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Ecuador and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.

Malaria risk area in Ecuador:

Risk in all areas at altitudes below 1,500 m (<4,921 ft). No risk in the cities of Guayaquil and Quito, the central highland tourist areas, and the Galápagos Islands. On account of Ecuador’s diverse geography, there is risk for Malaria in some parts of the country and not in others. Mosquitoes, the primary carriers of malaria, do not like heights. As a result, travelers run little risk of getting Malaria while in the mountains and mountain valleys of Ecuador’s High Sierra Region. On the other hand, because mosquitoes thrive in the Ecuador’s hot and humid Coastal region and the Amazon jungle lowlands, you must take the appropriate precautions while traveling in these regions. According to CDC, all the provinces along the eastern border and the Pacific coast, including Cañar Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Guayas (including Guayaquil), Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Pastaza, Pinchincha, and Zamora-Chinchipe are risk areas. CDC does not consider Quito and vicinity, the central highland tourist areas, and the Galapagos Islands to be risk areas.

Travelers can eliminate much of the Malarial risk by taking prescription antimalarial drugs and protecting themselves against mosquito bites. If you will be visiting an area where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed by your physician. You can protect yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellent (the repellent must contain DEET), always wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and sleeping beneath permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets.

To find out more information on malaria throughout the world, you can use the interactive CDC malaria map. You can search or browse countries, cities, and place names for more specific malaria risk information and the recommended prevention medicines for that area.

There are several drugs on the market that prevent malaria (called “antimalarials”). The kind of antimalarial you need to take depends on where in South America, or the world for that matter, you will be traveling. Mefloquine (brand name Lariam®) is the recommended drug for risk areas in Ecuador. Mefloquine should be taken 1 week before arrival in the malaria risk area, once a week while in the Malaria risk area, and once a week for 4 weeks after leaving the Malaria risk area. If you become ill with a fever, even months after your trip, inform your doctor that you traveled to a Malaria-infected area. Also, as with any prescription drug, be sure to follow the label directions and ask your doctor if have questions or suffer side effects.

One response to “Ecuador travel & health

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  1. Excellent article, and the entire blog in general, thanks.

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