most common ailments suffered on the islands are sunburn, sea sickness,
heat stroke, and dehydration. Be smart!!
Use sunscreen. There is nothing so easily preventable. Remember you're at the equator, and the sun is much stronger here. Apply at least 30 sun block and frequently! If you do get burned, and you find yourself dehydrated and blistering, seek medical attention right away.
2. Sea Sickness. This is one of the most common ailments here in The Galapagos. Take any seasickness medicine 1/2 hour before boarding the boat or plane. Peppermint and ginger also help to ease upset stomachs.
3. Water, water, water! The moment you feel thirsty, you're already on the road to dehydration. Drink at least 1.5 liters/day when you're on the islands. And, your body, after losing so many fluids, will need salt. Bring some crackers with you to replenish your salts, too. Again, seek medical attention right away if you find you're dizzy, getting heat exhaustion or cramps. Listen to your body and its needs.
4. Diarrhea is very common when traveling in a new country. Be sure to wash all fruits thoroughly, be wary of salads and choosy where to eat. The people who live on the islands are accustomed to the foods there; you aren't. If you do have diarrhea, and it lasts over three days, seek medical attention. Again, use common sense.
5. Malaria and dengue are tropical diseases. Not yet in Galapagos, but you must be aware. The main symptoms of malaria and dengue are similar to that of the common flu: fever, aches, dizziness, chills etc. The best way to avoid these two sicknesses is protection against mosquitoes. Use long-sleeved shirts and pants at dusk and insect repellent all day long. Antimalarial pills are available in pharmacies in Ecuador. The islands haven't had problems in the past with malaria and dengue, but check with your travel agent before leaving to be sure.
Hepatitis A is miserable and common, contracted through food
or water that's not hygienic. You'll know you have it by your coloration
- you'll turn as yellow as an egg yolk. With a couple weeks of rest,
lots of fluids, and good food, you'll be back on track. Don't despair!
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are much more serious, contracted through
bodily fluid and can lead to long-term sickness. Seek medical attention
right away if you think you have any of these illnesses. Very Rare in Galapagos. >
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