Your Zika and Malaria Free Experience

 

Zika and Malaria are not a problem in the Tahuayo River basin. The only species of mosquito that carries Zika is Aedes aegypti, which is also the sole species of mosquito that can carry dengue or yellow fever. This mosquito breeds in water that is alkaline, which in the Iquitos area is found in pools of water south and west of the city (many marine fossil sediments such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in the clay soil, deposited from water originating in the Andes). The mosquito only survives for 3-4 weeks and does not stray more than 100 meters from the place where it hatched. In the Tahuayo River basin we do not have this mosquito species, because our water ecology is highly acidic, coming not from the Andes (we are on the other side of the Amazon River) but from swamps in the interior of the ACRCTT conservation zone, where phenolic chemicals leach from our jungle plants into the standing water.

If you put your hand in the water in our rivers and lakes you can see the red color tint of the water. This indicates high acidity, water in which Aedes aegypti cannot reproduce. For this reason we have also never had outbreaks of yellow fever or dengue in the Tahuayo River basin. The one species in Peru that carries malarial parasites, Anopheles darlingi, also does not breed in the highly acidic ecosystems of the Tahuayo.

There is no malaria in downtown Iquitos or the Tahuayo River basin. However, south of Iquitos, along Nauta Road, is a hot zone for malaria. Avoid travelling there. The only species of mosquito that carries malaria is Anopheles darlingi. This species of mosquito breeds in water that is alkaline, which in the Iquitos (as well as out of Puerto Maldonado) area is found in water originating in the Andes (much minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium from marine fossil sedimentation). This species of mosquito only survive for 3-4 weeks and does not stray more than 100 meters from the place where it hatched. In the Tahuayo River basin we do not have this mosquito species, because our water ecology is highly acidic, coming not from the Andes (we are on the other side of the Amazon River) but from swamps in the interior of the ACRCTT conservation zone, where phenolic chemicals leach from our jungle plants into the standing water. If you put your hand in the water in our rivers and lakes you can see the red color tint of the water. This indicates high acidity, water in which Anopheles darlingi cannot reproduce. For this reason no medical prophylaxis (which especially with malaria pills may cause side effects) is required.

About Amazonia

Amazonia Expeditions operates in the Amazon Basin, on the Tahuayo River, which is a tributary of the Amazon River in Peru. Since 1981 we have been running trips into the Amazon in comfortable yet authentic lodges that offer access into the incredibly bio-diverse Tamshiyacu Tahuayo reserve. Although many similar foreign locations have been noted to be impacted by Zika outbreaks, Amazonia is unique in that it is still possible to travel here without fear of potential infections. There are other locations in Peru that are still impacted by Zika, but Amazonia Expeditions is proudly Zika free.

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