Temperate South America

3.6  Temperate South America

(Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands, Uruguay)

3.6.1  Disease risks

Food and water-borne diseases:

Gastrointestinal infections a risk in rural areas. Gastroenteritis (mainly salmonellosis) relatively common in Argentina, especially suburban areas. Hepatitis A and intestinal parasites reported.

Malaria confined to outbreaks in a few areas of NW Argentina.

Other arthropod-borne diseases (see Chapter 7) relatively unimportant except for American trypanosomiasis (Chagas' disease)


  •   Cutaneous leishmaniasis in NE Argentina.

Diseases of close association:


  •   In 1994, an international commission certified the eradication of endemic wild poliovirus from the Americas. Ongoing surveillance in formerly endemic Central and South American countries confirms that poliovirus transmission remains interrupted.


  •   Meningococcal meningitis outbreaks have occurred in Chile.


  •   Tuberculosis rates slightly higher than western Europe.

Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections:

Hepatitis B of low prevalence; HIV generally of low prevalence.

Other hazards could include:


  •   Animal rabies endemic.


  •   Rodent-borne hantavirus pulmonary syndrome identified in north-central and SW regions of Argentina and in Chile.

3.6.2  Recommendations for immunisations and malaria chemoprophylaxis (see later chapters for general health precautions)

Check routine immunisations including tetanus.

For all countries except the Falklands, immunisation against hepatitis A. Typhoid immunisation sometimes advised for rural backpackers.

For longer travel, consider immunisation against diphtheria and hepatitis B and check BCG status; consider immunisation against rabies for longer rural travel out of reach of medical attention.


3.6.3  Country by country variations and malaria chemoprophylaxis:


Malaria risk, exclusively P.vivax, confined to the north west area along the borders with Bolivia and Paraguay. The Iguassu Falls area is considered malaria free.

Recommended prophylaxis: for this small area in the NW corner of the country, which will rarely be visited by UK travellers, chloroquine.