Ecuador, Malaria, Anthrax, and Exotic Diseases….
Last month I asked a few friends who live in Ecuador about bugs, exotic diseases, anthrax, mosquitoes, malaria, and whether I should get shots before I travel… I received some pretty interesting and funny comments…. Enjoy the information and all the crazy about Ecuador, malaria, and other exotic things…
She came at night, explored my body,
got on top of me–touched me,
she bit, sucked, swallowed.
When she was satisfied she left… I was truly hurt….
- I was in Bahia in May and got Dengue fever even though I was diligent about using mosquito repellent. The Manabi coast also has Chagras and Leishmaniasis, which you get from the kissing bug and sand flies, respectively. There are 4 strains of Dengue and Bahia has all 4. Scabies are also endemic to the area and you can get them from sheets and towels that haven’t been washed in hot water, or upholstery, and that means you can get them just about anywhere, including on the bus. I know someone who got anthrax in Canoa and has to have large chunks of flesh removed all the time.
- January through May is the worst time for mosquitoes but they are on the coast all year long because of shrimp farms and standing water
- It’s not the season for bugs or mosquitoes right now. Here in Bahia I haven’t seen a mosquito for several months. It was January when they came last year…and then I used spray.
- Visit Cuenca — no bugs to speak of.
- Don’t overlook or rule out Hanta Virus (mice) or fleas carrying the plague. Little kids love to play with small dead rodents.
- And Anthrax…. I thought you had to catch that through the mail???
- If you are going to the amazon or one of the tributaries rivers get a vaccination for malaria!!! If your not, then don’t. If you get the squirts take Alka-Seltzer or the equivalent!!! If you want to eat off the street venders say your prayers and trust that it’s not dog!!! If you are on the coast put repellent on before 6pm!!! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!!! Do not under any circumstance order drinks that need ice!!!
- The mosquitoes come out every night between 5:30 and 6:00 and it typically lasts about an hour. After 7:00 we seldom see any mosquitoes.
- There is not a single restaurant within 2 hours of my house that serves ice in the drinks, unless it is made in a blender. Street vendors selling snow cones use block ice. Typically made from unfiltered river water because the locals believe that freezing the water will kill the bugs the same way that boiling does. Freezing does not kill the bugs. Don’t eat the snow cones.
- The mosquitoes that carry Dengue bite during the day. Henry, the ex-fireman who teaches exercise classes on the beach in Bahia, puts a 50/50 mixture of sunscreen and Off on 3 times a day and says he hasn’t had a mosquito bite in 3 years.
- I may come out of retirement and go into the body condom business. A huge rubber bag that can encase the entire body with strategic openings. Holy crap…this is a scary place I live in! LOL
- Just remember to bring Ex-Lax to use if you feel sick. Strong stuff it can knock the s#!t out of Superman…
- You do know only the female mosquitoes draw blood right?… Bitches
- I hate it when my bowel gets infected. So what I hear you saying is that Immodium, ExLax, Prep-H, Pepto, Alka Selzer…should pretty much take care of anything dripping, draining, drizzling or drooling.
- I don’t know how much validity this has, but after having a few GI problems the first couple times I came down, I started drinking fresh coconut water every day and I haven’t had any problems since.
- Remember a happy bowel is one that moves freely…
Hope you got a giggle out of this – If we listened to everyone’s horror stories, especially from the CDC and US government sites, about everything you can ‘catch’ or ‘contract’, we would just stay home under the covers and be scared.
The thing is…if you look really close, the covers you’re hiding under are made of something that’s not good for you. The bed or couch you’re sitting on is full of volatile chemicals. The plaster walls have asbestos and are painted with lead based paint… The world can be a scary place if you let it be. Better to get out of bed, off the couch, and do some living!
Thanks to my friends at Ecuador Expats and Ruta Del Sol Mates for inspiring this little post. You can find them on Facebook.
How about we finish off with a great song.
I have a lot of favorites…. This one hit the charts in 1979 in the United Kingdom…. Anyone here “play the street life” in the late seventies and early 80′s?
Have a great weekend everyone…
One last thought… I just noticed that the word vacation and vaccination are the same but with a little “sin” in the middle. Love a good play on words…
Sites That Link to this Post
- Morning Update – Friday, October 5, 2012 « South of Zero | October 5, 2012