TRAVEL TIPS & EXTENSIONS

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know if Traveling to Ecuador and Galapagos

AUTHOR Caroline Eaton

You read all the travel guides, did your research and finally booked your once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galapagos with Ecoventura…. and then the Zika virus hit the news. Knowing this is a trip you’ve been looking forward to, we want to help clear up any questions and feel more ready than ever to cross the Enchanted Islands off your bucket list.

We are aware of the recent travel guidance related to the Zika virus and are monitoring the situation closely.

What You Need to Know about Zika:

    • The main concern with this virus is due to what it can do to babies in pregnant women, but for most everyone else it is nowhere near as scary.
    • One in five people who get Zika will develop symptoms such as fever, rash, headaches, joint and muscle pain and red eyes.
    • 39 cases have been reported from 4 of the coastal areas of Ecuador, mainly the area of Manabi. Majority of these were from travelers that were arriving in from other countries.
    • Our bodies are able to clear out the virus after a week or two, just as we can clear out the common cold or flu virus.

Zika and Pregnancy

You will want to take special precautions if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. The virus can spread to the fetus, causing a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly.

The CDC answers specific questions on Zika virus and pregnancy on their site here.

Ecuador, Peru and the Zika virus

The National Galapagos Park has fairly strong environmental controls in place that mitigate the virus from spreading to the islands. For example, all of the airlines that fly to Galapagos, including our partner Avianca, spray the cabin and cargo holds for insects before take-off and cargo ships are fumigated to prevent transmission of introduced insects to Galapagos. Typically one does not encounter many mosquitoes in the Galapagos to begin with.

Still, Ecoventura is taking precautionary measures for the peace of mind of our passengers. This includes having mosquito repellent to use throughout key areas of our ships, educating our employees and making information available to our guests.

Currently only one case has been reported in Peru from a Venezuelan man who had recently traveled through Columbia. No cases of the Zika virus have originated in Peru. If you are traveling through Peru in combination with your Galapagos trip, we suggest you take the same precautions mentioned below to prevent Zika, but not to worry due to the virus not being found in Peru at this time. Peru’s Health Minister is taking serious precautions to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.

We recommend travelers stay up to date on health information from the CDC concerning Ecuador and Galapagos by visiting their site here.

We will continue to update this post as we learn more.

Please email us if you have any other questions or concerns at sayhello@ecoventura.com