Travel clinic Ecuador
Travel health and vaccine advice for Ecuador
Ecuador
 

From the luxuriant Amazon forest to the truly unique Galapagos Islands, Ecuador is a haven for nature lovers. The small South American country displays an astonishing array of plants and animals, often rare and endemic, like massive tortoises, marine iguanas and countless species of colorful birds. The mythical Andes mountain range and its snow topped conic volcanoes offer a fantastic scenery, while remote indigenous villages contrast with picturesque colonial vestiges and modern cities. Ecuador may not have as many archaeological wonders as some of its neighboring countries… But no other place on Earth can compete with its natural treasures.


HEALTH ADVICE FOR TRAVEL TO Ecuador

We make every effort to ensure that the information posted on our website is up to date and accurate according to the latest public health recommendations; however, travel health and safety risks in Ecuador can change daily.

For the most current travel health recommendations for Ecuador, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.

ECUADOR – RECOMMENDED VACCINES

Hepatitis ARecommended for all travelers.
Tetanus – Diphtheria – Pertussis Vaccine

Tetanus: In exceptional circumstances (eg, stay in a region where access to health care is limited), for a person aged 18 years or older, 1 dose of DT may be given if 5 years or more has elapsed since the last dose.
Otherwise, one booster dose at the age of 50*.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough):  1 dose is recommended for pregnant women, for every pregnancy, regardless of immunization history and the interval since the last dose (between week 26 and 32).

*Only applicable for Quebec.

Measles – Rubella – MumpsTwo doses recommended for all travelers born after 1970, if not previously given.
Flu – InfluenzaSeasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing or by touching infected surfaces. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine yearly. Vaccine is recommended 14 days prior to departure.
Routine vaccines (dCaT, Polio, Meningococcal, Shingles, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, HPV, MMR & Varicella)Recommended for all travelers
Typhoid FeverRecommended for most travelers, especially those who are staying with friends or relatives; visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water; or prone to “adventurous eating”
Hepatitis BConsider for most travelers; recommended for those who might be exposed to blood or other body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
RabiesFor travelers at high risk of animal bites or being involved in activities with bats, dogs and other mammals. Clients who plan to visit remote areas may consider receiving this vaccine. Important to note the pre-exposure rabies vaccine is administered in 2 doses with one week interval between doses. Post-exposure vaccination is always recommended, even for those previously vaccinated.
Chagas DiseasePresence. All travelers should protect themselves against triatomine bugs.
Yellow Fever

A proof of vaccination against yellow fever may be required upon entry in Ecuador.

Some travellers may not be eligible to receive this vaccine. Please enquire with our health care professional regarding your specific details.
It is important to note that the vaccine should be administered at least 10 days prior to your departure.

For further information, please consult with the World Health Organization (WHO) website:
https://www.who.int/ith/ith-country-list.pdf

Traveler’s Diarrhea (ETEC)Talk to our health care professional about the risks and precautionary measures to take, as well as the Dukoral® vaccine. Important to note that the Dukoral vaccine is an oral vaccine given in 2 doses, recommended at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
MalariaMalaria is present in Ecuador. The risk may be region specific. Prophylaxis measures to be discussed with the health care professional.
Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and/or ZikaThere are many illnesses that are transmitted via mosquito bites and unfortunately we do not have vaccines to protect us against most of them. It is important to inquire with your healthcare professional regarding the specific risks and the different illnesses presently in circulation.

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS for travel in Ecuador

Antibiotics for Traveler’s DiarrheaCiprofloxacin, Azithromycin or Suprax.
AntimalarialsMalarone, Doxycycline or Mefloquine
Acetazolamide/DexaméthasoneRecommended to prevent Acute mountain sickness (AMS).

FOOD AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES in Ecuador

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers’ diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Ecuador, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

  • Travellers’ diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers’ diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.

INSECTS AND ILLNESS in Ecuador

In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in Ecuador. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In Ecuador, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Zika virus is a risk in Ecuador.

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to Ecuador. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to Ecuador.

Travel recommendations:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to Ecuador for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Women: Wait 2 months after travel to Ecuador or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
  • Men: Wait 3 months after travel to Ecuador or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.

For more travel recommendations, see Zika virus: Advice for travellers.

MALARIA in Ecuador

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in Ecuador.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

ANIMALS AND ILLNESS in Ecuador

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

PERSON-TO-PERSON INFECTIONS in Ecuador

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

MEDICAL SERVICES AND FACILITIES in Ecuador

Health care is available but the quality of care varies greatly throughout Ecuador. In Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, private hospitals offer medical services comparable to those in Canada. In smaller towns and in rural areas, however, health services are below Canadian standards.

Foreigners usually go to the private Metropolitano Hospital in Quito, the capital city. This modern infrastructure has adequate medical equipment and numerous specialized services. Be aware that in the Galapagos Islands, medical care is extremely limited. In case of decompression sickness from scuba diving, a private decompression chamber is available to the public on Santa Cruz Island. Evacuation to the mainland may be necessary in certain cases since there are no cardiology or surgery facilities on Galapagos Islands. As there are no air ambulance services based on the islands, the wait time to be evacuated can be 48 hours or more, depending on weather conditions.

Medical evacuations can be extremely expensive. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Pharmacies are usually well stocked in Ecuador, though it is always safer to bring your own medication, especially if you intend to travel in remote areas.

For direct communication with the Hospital Metropolitano in Quito: 1-800 hmetro (463876)

KEEP IN MIND…

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

MEDICAL CARES

In Ecuador, it is difficult to find medical services outside the major cities of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. Even the most basic health care is not always available in remote areas. The country only has a few public hospitals. Foreigners usually go to the private Metropolitano Hospital in Quito, the capital city. This modern infrastructure has adequate medical equipment and numerous specialized services. Be aware that in the Galapagos Islands, medical care is extremely limited. In case of decompression sickness from scuba diving, a private decompression chamber is available to the public on Santa Cruz Island. Evacuation to the mainland may be necessary in certain cases since there are no cardiology or surgery facilities on Galapagos Islands.

Pharmacies are usually well stocked in Ecuador, though it is always safer to bring your own medication, especially if you intend to travel in remote areas.

In case of emergency in Quito:

For an ambulance call:

ADAMI at 2265-020 or 2269-247

UTIM at 2553-415/ 2562-608.

Be aware that ambulance services are limited.

For direct communication with the Hospital Metropolitano in Quito: 1-800 hmetro (463876)

SECURITY ABROAD

Travel to and within areas immediately bordering Colombia is dangerous due to the presence of drug traffickers and criminal organizations. The risk of violence, kidnappings, armed assaults and extortion is high.

Read More »

Emergency services in Ecuador

Dial 911 for emergency assistance.

For an ambulance in Quito call:

ADAMI at 2265-020 or 2269-247

UTIM at 2553-415/ 2562-608.

Be aware that ambulance services are limited.