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Ecuador/malaria and yellow fever


QUESTION: Planning trip to Ecuador- 4 days of trip  will be at Yarina Lodge, Amazon area ( fly into El Coca, Puerto Francisco de Orellana ),then  upriver on Napo river.
CDC does list malaria and yellow fever as present. I am age 63 , wife is 59, not sure if we've had yellow fever vaccine in past. possibly 1986 pre Kenya trip.
Appreciate your thoughts re taking yellow fever vaccine and malaria prophylaxis., risk/benefit ratio.

ANSWER: Malaria medication is not required for the Amazon rain forest, and I have never taken this and frequently visit the rain forest.  If you were going to the southern Pacific coastal region (near Guayaquil) I would advise you to take malaria medication.

In terms of yellow fever, while not required or absolutely necessary, I would recommend this vaccination (if you want to be on the safe side ... but not crucial).

Hope this helps!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your advice
- re yellow fever risk- what is the number of cases of yellow fever seen in that area ( especially near Yarina lodge) per year ?
Apparently there is a higher risk of serious side effects from the vaccine in folks older than 60 thats why I want to be sure of the  risk/benefit ratio. Are there official recommendations from the Ecuadorean government for that area?

If I am not mistaken there hasn't been a report case of yellow fever in a long time.  While yellow fever vaccination is not a requirement official departments (tourism, health etc) do recommend it.  I would consult your local doctor to find out if the side effects merit taking the vaccination.  In my humble opinion (although I am not a medical professional) the risk is so low that I would advise my parent (in their late 60s & early 70s) not to take it ... unless they planned an unusual length of time in the rain forest.


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Robin Slater


Specialist in the Galapagos Islands (cruises, yachts, islands) as well as travel-related questions or concerns. This includes: hotels, hostels, haciendas, excursions, cities, activities, transportation, climate and weather, current events, Amazon rainforest, cloudforest, Andean highlands, Pacific coast.


Born and raised in Ecuador and have extensive travel experience both for mainland Ecuador as well as the Galapagos Islands. Currently living in Quito.
Also travelled extensively to Spain, Belize, Mexico, UK, USA, Panama & Canada.

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