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Health Tips for Going to the Jungle

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Traveler's diarrhea (TD) is the most common ailment of visitors to Latin America. It's a good idea to ask your doctor for an antibiotic specifically for TD, as over-the-counter medicines such as Imodium and Lomotil will only treat the symptoms and not the cause.

Malaria can occasionally be a problem in the lowlands and jungles of Latin America where we will be visiting. Various schools of thought exist concerning the best precautionary measures. The most popular anti-malaria medication among travelers seems to be Mefloquine. A new anti-malarial, Malarone, is also gaining popularity because it seems to have fewer side effects.

Consult your doctor for prescriptions and dosages.

As of March 1, 2008, a yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon. This vaccination, which is valid for 10 years, must be administered at least 10 days before your arrival in Ecuador. Travelers must bring along their International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) as proof of vaccination.

No other immunizations are required by law to enter most Latin American countries. However, vaccinations/boosters are advised for the following:
  • Yellow Fever

  • Hepatitis A (a new vaccine called Havrix is now available)

  • Typhoid

  • Tetanus

  • Diphtheria

Consult your doctor for the most current recommended health precautions for the area you will be visiting during your Amazon tour. The US Center for Disease Control is an excellent source for detailed information on preventing travel related illnesses.

Check them out at http://www.cdc.gov

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