Health and Diseases in Ecuador

By | November 8, 2021

Vaccination protection

When entering from a yellow fever area, proof of a valid yellow fever vaccination is required from all travelers who are older than 1 year. If this cannot be presented, fines and an entry ban are possible. In the past, the yellow fever vaccination was partly checked by airlines in neighboring countries even before the journey to Ecuador.

The standard vaccinations for children and adults should be up to date according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute.

The Federal Foreign Office recommends vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A, diphtheria for trips to Ecuador, and vaccination against hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies for longer stays (more than 4 weeks and / or special exposure). If you plan to travel to provinces in the Amazon region (Morona, Orellana, Pastaza, Napo, Zamora and Sucumbíos) or to other areas in the east of the Andes, vaccination against yellow fever is also recommended. There is no risk of yellow fever in Quito, Guayaquil or the Galapagos Islands.

Dengue fever

Dengue fever is endemic in Ecuador and is transmitted by a species of mosquito that is mainly diurnal. Occasionally, serious damage to health, including death, occurs in the course of the disease. Dengue outbreaks have been described in the provinces of Guayas, Loja and Esmeraldas.


Nocturnal Anopheles mosquito is responsible for the transmission of malaria. If malaria (especially tropical malaria) is left untreated, it can be fatal in non-immune Europeans. Malaria can break out weeks and months after the actual mosquito bite. Therefore, even after returning from Ecuador, if you have a fever, you should consult a doctor who should be advised of your stay in the malaria area.

Most malaria cases in Ecuador are reported from rural areas deeper than 1,500 m. There is a high risk of malaria in the coastal provinces of Manabí, Esmeraldas, El Oro and Guayas in the west and in the eastern areas of the Amazon provinces of Napo, Sucumbíos and Pastaza.

There is a medium risk of malaia in the western parts of the provinces of Los Ríos, Loja and Cotopaxi and in the western lowlands of Napo, Sucumbíos, Morona Santiago and Pastaza.

In the other parts of the country and cities of Ecuador there is little or no risk of malaria; this also applies to the Galapagos Islands.

Depending on the route, chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) may be recommended. There are various prescription drugs on the market for malaria prophylaxis (for example Doxycycline, Malarone or Lariam). An experienced tropical or travel doctor can advise you on the choice of medication, their intolerance and side effects and personal adjustment.

In addition to malaria, mosquitoes transmit other infectious diseases, which is recommended as preventive protection when traveling in Ecuador

  • wear light-colored clothing covering the whole body (long trousers and shirts). This both during the day (dengue fever) and in the evening (malaria).
  • Regularly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body
  • to use a mosquito net in the regions mentioned above


The risk of a life-threatening infection with HIV / AIDS always arises from sexual contact and drug use (for example unclean cannulas or syringes or cannulas). The use of condoms is therefore always recommended, especially with casual acquaintances.

Diarrhea and cholera

Most diarrheal illnesses can be prevented with proper drinking water and food hygiene.

Some basic rules

Never drink tap water but, for example, bottled water. If bottled water is not available, filter and disinfect water or boil it off. Also use drinking water to brush your teeth or wash the dishes. Peel, boil or disinfect food. Make sure that no flies get to your food. Hands should be washed often with soap, always after a bowel movement, before preparing food and before eating. If appropriate, disinfect your hands as well, use disposable towels.

Altitude sickness

In the first few days after arriving in Quito, symptoms of altitude sickness can occur due to the high altitude (2,800 m). Untrained mountaineers are therefore advised to seek expert advice before traveling to Ecuador.

Medical supplies

According to militarynous, medical care in the larger cities of Ecuador is comparable to that in Europe. In rural Ecuador, on the other hand, medical care is often inadequate from a technical, technical and hygienic point of view. It is therefore strongly recommended that you have adequate health insurance and reliable travel repatriation insurance. A tropical or travel doctor can advise you on equipping your first-aid kit.

Medical treatment and hospital stays are sometimes considerably more expensive in Ecuador than in Germany. German health insurances often do not pay these costs or only partially. It is therefore strongly recommended that you consult the responsible health insurance provider before taking out health insurance or starting your journey. For treatment costs in Ecuador, the patient usually has to show up.

Before traveling to Ecuador, you should seek advice from a tropical / travel doctor. In the German diplomatic missions in Ecuador, lists of recommended German or English-speaking doctors can be obtained on request.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information and liability for any damage that may occur cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Health and Diseases in Ecuador