Wherever you are heading on your travels, you should make sure to talk to a healthcare professional several weeks before you go.

For visitors to Ecuador, there are a couple of major health risks that you should make sure you discuss with your doctor. All travellers should take steps to reduce the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes. Malaria, rabies, Hepatitis A and B, typhoid and tuberculosis are all known health issues.

Additionally, from September 12th 2018, all visitors to the Galapagos Islands will be required to have a valid health insurance policy. Make sure you have comprehensive healthcare coverage that includes medical evacuation by helicopter, as healthcare facilities on the islands are limited.

Zika

Ecuador is marked as a high risk area for Zika transmissions. Recent studies show that ‘as many as one in seven infants whose mothers were exposed to the Zika virus during pregnancy later developed health problems.‘ If you and your partner are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant in the next six months, you should discuss this with your doctor.

Yellow Fever

Vaccination is recommended for certain areas in Ecuador, including Esmeraldas, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbios and designated areas of Zamora-Chinchipe. Visitors to other regions should discuss the vaccination, especially if they will be in Ecuador for a long period of time or are unable to avoid mosquito bites.

Travel advice

From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Check the latest country-specific information and advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NATHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website or from NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

UK health authorities have classified Ecuador as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

The Ecuadorean authorities are recommending travellers to have a yellow fever vaccination if travelling to some areas in the Amazon region. A yellow fever vaccination is obligatory when entering Ecuador from endemic countries such as Brazil, Dominican Republic, Congo, Uganda, etc.

As with other medical matters, travellers should assure their own healthcare arrangements. This might include obtaining access to anti-viral medicine or to seek medical advice. Good medical treatment can be expensive and is not always available outside the main cities. Private hospitals will demand a credit card guarantee for admission.

Make sure you have adequate travel and medical insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. For life threatening emergencies, in principle every private or public health institution is obliged by law to assist patients.

There are limited facilities on the Galapagos Islands. If you travel to the Galapagos make sure your insurance includes evacuation by air ambulance. In December 2014, a new public hospital opened in San Cristobal island. If you travel to the Galapagos Islands by boat you may be asked to state your blood group in the medical and emergency contact information collected when you board the ship. From 12 September 2018, all tourists travelling to the Galapagos Islands will be required to have a valid health insurance policy.

Parts of Ecuador (including Quito at 2,800m) are at high altitude. If you plan to travel to altitudes over 2,500 metres discuss the health risks associated with travelling to high altitude with your GP before you travel. Check this factsheet for more information and advice on how to reduce the risk of altitude sickness and recognise symptoms.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.  

Ecuador has an Emergency Integrated Response Service (ECU 911) to respond to any emergency incidents that may require immediate assistance from emergency agencies. Dial 911 to report or request emergency help. Consider using the new ECU 911 free smartphone application to report various types of emergencies. Download this application and register for emergency assistance.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ecuador

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