Vaccines are an important part of preparing for a trip to tropical places such as the Amazon jungle.
See your doctor before booking your flight and bear in mind that some vaccinations (some of the “routine” ones and Hepatitis B) have to be done months before you actually travel.
On the other hand, some vaccinations can be done soon before travelling but if you book them at too short notice you may have to pay an extra charge.
For trips to Puerto Maldonado, Peru, and the surrounding jungle, the vaccines recommended by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are as follows:
Make sure you are up-to-date with routine vaccinations before travelling. These include:
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTP)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Yearly flu shot if you normally have this
Vaccinations specifically for travellers to Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever – vaccinations are recommended regardless of which area of Peru you are visiting. You should still be careful about consuming food and drink that could be contaminated.
Hepatitis B – the risk is low for travellers but the vaccine is recommended if you think you could be exposed while in Peru to blood or bodily fluids through sexual contact with a new partner, getting tattoos or piercings, having or giving medical or dental procedures or receiving acupuncture.
Yellow Fever – the vaccine is recommended to anyone travelling to the Amazon. You may be asked to prove you have had a Yellow Fever vaccine on arrival at Puerto Maldonado airport.
Rabies – this isn’t a major threat for most travellers except those that will be working directly with animals or if you are going to live long-term in a high-risk area – in these cases, a vaccine is recommended.
Some tropical diseases are present in the Puerto Maldonado region for which there is no vaccination. They are transmitted by insect bites. Ways to help prevent bites include:
- Wearing appropriate clothes in a tropical rainforest
- Using repellent
- Checking your room has screened windows
- Using bed nets
- If you are using sun cream, apply repellent second.
Specific diseases without vaccine transmitted by insects
Malaria – The CDC considers Puerto Maldonado to be a malaria risk area. Prevent mosquito bites as much as you can and consider taking anti-malaria pills.
Dengue Fever – Dengue Fever is present in a large part of Latin America and usually clears up by itself in one or two weeks. It is transmitted by certain mosquitos so take precautions to avoid bites.
Leishmaniasis – This is a curable disease transmitted by a certain fly and can be avoided by taking precautions to avoid bites.