Travel Vaccines and Advice for a trip in the Amazon
As a travel destination, Amazon is a unique experience and an adventure that involves in particular the detailed planning of many health-related aspects. Before entering the jungle inform yourself thoroughly and take all precautionary measures. Consult a specialist that knows the risks you are predisposed to and verify the conditions provided by the tour organizer. Do not rely on the fact that you will find a doctor at the lodge and bring medication for: sun allergies, irritation caused by insect bites, mild colds, indigestion, and stomach pain, but also disinfectant solutions or patches in case of injury. Although very small, the mosquitoes are the most dangerous living in the tropical forest and endanger more human lives every year than any other animal in the world, so don’t forget to bring about insect repellent.
Diseases you must avoid in the Amazon
Opinions on how malaria can be prevented are divided. You can take daily pills starting one week before entering the jungle, up to one week after leaving. This treatment is however quite controversial, as the pills are very toxic to the liver and have many side effects including nausea, dizziness, headache, and insomnia. Given that malaria was eradicated years ago in many national parks, be sure to know all the risks and side effects of any medication you take.
Tips & Tricks
When planning your trip and the activities you want to take part in, make sure to talk to the tour organizers and your doctor about the area of the jungle you are visiting. Whether you want to take preventive treatment or not, you must have the pills with you, because if you contact the disease, the symptoms are particularly severe.
Another disease caused by tropical mosquitoes is yellow fever. A licensed vaccine is available to prevent it, but it can only be administered within an authorized epidemiology facility. This vaccine is required in order to enter many countries in South America and Africa, where besides the passport you must present a yellow fever International Vaccination Certificate. The effects of the vaccine start after 10 days after administration and remain valid for life.
Typhoid fever is caused by ingesting unwashed fruits or contaminated water. Depending on the part of the jungle you want to visit, as you enter deeper into the Amazon, the significant distance from a big city is also reflected in the facilities of the accommodation. To prevent the disease, you should never forget all the necessary items for proper personal hygiene. The typhoid vaccine is best administered if you plan to travel in countries located in South and Central America, Africa, or Asia, and its effects are valid for at least 3 years after administration.