Health and Diseases in Peru

Vaccination protection

When entering from a yellow fever area, proof of a valid yellow fever vaccination is required from all travelers who are older than 6 months. When traveling to designated Peruvian endemic areas (especially the Amazon region of Peru), a yellow fever vaccination has recently become mandatory and also makes sense. If a yellow fever vaccination cannot be proven, compulsory vaccinations will be carried out at the airport in Puerto Maldonado. In Cusco, yellow fever vaccinations are only carried out if a minimum of 8 people make an appointment. The yellow fever protection is only 10 days after the vaccination effective.

When you out Peru travel on, a yellow fever vaccination can also be requested in the country of arrival.

The Federal Foreign Office’s health service recommends vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A and diphtheria, and protection against hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies for longer stays (more than 4 weeks) and / or special exposure.

Furthermore, the standard vaccinations for children and adults should be according to the recommendations from the Robert Koch Institute to be up to date.


Nocturnal Anopheles mosquito is responsible for the transmission of malaria. If malaria (especially tropical malaria) is left untreated, it can be fatal in non-immune Europeans. Malaria can break out weeks and months after the actual mosquito bite. Therefore, even after returning from Peru, if you have a fever, you should consult a doctor, who should be advised of the stay in the malaria area.

According to Internetsailors, there is a high risk of malaria in the lowlands in eastern Peru, especially along the rivers in the upper Amazon and Acre basins, in the border regions with Ecuador and Colombia and in the Tumbes department in northwestern Peru. There is a medium risk of malaria in some rural regions of the Andean and coastal regions that are deeper than 1,500 m. There is little or no risk of malaria in Lima and the surrounding area, in the departments of Moquegua, Puno, Tacna and in the tourist areas in the highlands (Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lake Titicaca).

Depending on the travel route in Peru, chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) can be recommended. There are various prescription drugs on the market for malaria prophylaxis (for example Doxycycline, Malarone or Lariam). An experienced tropical or travel doctor can advise you on the choice of medication, their intolerance and side effects and personal adjustment.

In addition to malaria, mosquitoes transmit other infectious diseases and are recommended as preventive protection when traveling in Panama

  • wear light-colored clothing covering the whole body (long trousers and shirts). This both during the day (dengue) and in the evening (malaria).
  • Regularly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body
  • to use a mosquito net in the regions mentioned above


The risk of a life-threatening infection with HIV / AIDS always arises from sexual contact and drug use (for example unclean cannulas or syringes or cannulas). The use of condoms is therefore always recommended, especially with casual acquaintances.

Diarrhea and cholera

Most diarrheal illnesses can be prevented with proper drinking water and food hygiene.

Some basic rules

Never drink tap water but, for example, bottled water. If bottled water is not available, filter and disinfect water or boil it off. Also use drinking water to brush your teeth or wash the dishes. Peel, boil or disinfect food. Make sure that no flies get to your food. Hands should be washed often with soap, always after a bowel movement, before preparing food and before eating. If appropriate, disinfect your hands as well, use disposable towels.

More infectious diseases in Peru

Dengue fever, filariasis, leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, onchocerkiasis, typhus, Chagas disease, brucellosis, fascioliasis, echinococcosis, and plague.

Altitude sickness

At altitudes above 2,500 m, too rapid ascent leads to more frequent, sometimes life-threatening diseases. Altitude sickness usually only occurs about 24 hours after the ascent or if you stay at high altitude for a longer period of time. A daily net ascent of a maximum of 300 m is recommended. Warning symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, poor sleep, vomiting, dizziness and increasing lack of air. If these symptoms do not go away after a break or overnight stay, one should dismount. An effective countermeasure is to descend below 2,000 m. Prophylactic drugs such as Diamox are not approved in Germany for the treatment of altitude sickness.

The Andes hold considerable risks for mountaineers; you should only set out in the company of an experienced mountain guide. There is hardly any mountain rescue service in Peru and it cannot be compared with Europe.

Medical supplies

Medical care in Peru is only comparable in expensive private clinics with European standards, but is usually inadequate in terms of technology, equipment and hygiene. In Cusco, the most important travel destination for foreign tourists, there are only a few private clinics that are adequately equipped in terms of personnel and equipment. In the past, sick tourists were referred to insufficiently qualified doctors. The German embassy therefore recommends that you find out more about hospitals and doctors in Lima and all of Peru on the embassy website. In an emergency you should contact the honorary consul in Cusco (Maria-Sophia Jürgens de Hermoza, San Agustín 307, Cusco, Tel 084-23 5459 or 24 29 70). The treatment options in Cusco are generally insufficient to adequately deal with serious emergencies. The seriously ill or injured should therefore be transported to Lima as soon as the medical condition permits. It is strongly recommended that you take out adequate, globally valid health insurance with reliable travel repatriation insurance.

Before traveling to Peru, you should seek advice from a tropical / travel doctor. In the German diplomatic missions in Peru, lists of recommended German or English-speaking doctors can be obtained on request.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information and liability for any damage that may occur cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Health and Diseases in Peru

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