Prepare in advance for health issues in South America.
The Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) have country-specific information about health concerns and suggested or required inoculations, prophylactic medications, etc. Visit your doctor to be sure you're up to date on tetanus and any other shots. (Children should have current inoculations against measles, mumps, rubella, and polio.) Inquire about a hepatitis A inoculation, which can prevent common intestinal infections (though avoiding ice, uncooked food, fruits with peels, and tap water that hasn't been boiled for at least 10â€“20 minutes can go far toward preventing digestive distress, too). For tropical regions, get yellow fever shots and look into malaria medications.
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My husband and I were in Peru -an Amazon River Cruise and Machu Picchu- about 3 weeks ago. We had numerous shots, took malaria pills plus pills for altitude sickness, which seemed to work well in Cusco and Machu Picchu. We also had bug off clothes and Deet which we wore and used in the Amazon. But somewhere, maybe Iquitos or outside Cusco, my husband got bug bits only where his socks were. They continue to itch and his ankles are still swollen, especially later in the day. I had no problem but my suggestion would be to use the Deet spray anywhere you go!
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