What is the number of cases of malaria reported in Quito, Ecuador? In 1940 was it a common problem?
There is no transmission of malaria in Quito – it is at too high an altitude! Transmission of malaria in Ecuador is estimated to stop at around 1500m of altitude, and the central plaza of Quito, Plaza Grande, sits at almost 3000m! As such, even in 1940 malaria in Quito would not have been a problem. However, there may still be a small number of reported cases even at such altitudes each year – this is due to people who get infected with malaria from mosquito bites at lower altitudes, such as in much of the rainforest and coastal regions of Ecuador, and then travel back up to the highlands before the first symptoms appear, which can be as long as two weeks after exposure to the parasite.
As mentioned briefly above, although Quito, Guayaquil, the central highlands and the Galapagos Islands are considered areas with low to no malaria transmission, travellers to or residents in other parts of Ecuador should take precautions against getting bitten by mosquitoes, such as long-sleeved clothing in the evenings and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet at night. They might also consider taking preventative medication, also known as prophylaxis, against malaria. As this can be expensive long-term, this is usually only used by travellers rather than residents in malarial regions. There are several different types of medication that can be taken; since chloroquine resistant types of malaria are known to occur in Ecuador, Lariam, doxycyline and Malarone are the main types of prophylaxis recommended for this country.