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Mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes are small insects that occur throughout the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Mosquito bites pose a serious health hazard for travelers, especially in tropical areas, as mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting Tropical diseases: yellow fever, malaria, dengue, Filariasisfilariasis, Encephalitisencephalitis, and West Nile virusWest Nile virus among other diseases.

mosquitoes Travel Guide :

Mosquitoes

Mosquito repellent

Avoid being bitten in the first place: you can find products made from various chemicals that repel mosquitoes that can be applied to your skin and clothing. It is usually found in lotion, aerosol or chapstick forms, and should contain one or more of these ingredients:

  • DEET (diethyl toluamide) is effective at concentrations of 10% and up; its strength plateaus at 30%. It should not be used on small children, especially on their hands, as it is poisonous if ingested. DEET-based repellents are probably the most common and are readily available at pharmacies, from vendors at large airports, and often from supermarkets.
  • Catnip oil (nepetalactone) is about 10 times as effective as DEET. It has no contraindications, but may attract the attention of cats.
  • Neem or andiroba oil (gedunin and other compounds) is effective for up to 12 hours at a concentration of 2%. Neem (but not andiroba) is a contraceptive, so it should not be ingested by women who are or are trying to get pregnant, though 2% is supposedly not enough to do any harm.
  • Be wary of products made with citronella oil alone, since it may not be strong enough to repel mosquitoes.

Sometimes a simple fan or gentle breeze would be sufficient, since mosquitoes do not like moving air.

Mosquitoes

Housing

Sleeping in housing that is either air-conditioned (so that you can close the windows and doors) or has insect screens over the windows will prevents mosquitoes entering the room at night. Be sure to check the screens for defects before relying on them.

Mosquitoes

Mosquito nets

If you are camping or have to sleep indoors without screens, use a mosquito net that has been dipped in permethrin insecticide — these can be found at some pharmacies and airports. Furthermore, since mosquitoes are very persistent insects that will keep trying to find a way to reach you, make sure that the ends of the net are securely tucked under your bed or sleeping mat.

Mosquitoes

Prophylaxis

Chemicals exist that will inhibit the effects of malaria; however, these almost always have known side-effects, and must only be used on advice from a medical physician — pregnant women should especially be careful. These drugs' effectiveness also varies according to the parasite's resistance and other factors, so no prophylaxis is 100% effective! The drugs must also be taken for up to four weeks after leaving the malaria area. The most common drugs include (brand names in parentheses):

  • Doxycycline (many brands) is highly effective in South-East Asia where there is multi-drug resistance, and resistance is rare. However, it is for short term use only and can cause light sensitivity, and should only be taken if other drugs are unsuitable. Possible disadvantages include rendering birth control pills ineffective, sun sensitivity (sunburning easier), nausea and stomach pain. Note that Doxycycline is not approved as prophylaxis for malaria in every country.
  • Mefloquine (Lariam) is highly effective, has a simple weekly dose and has been taken for up to a year without side-effects. It does have a number of contra-indications and must be prescribed by a doctor, and has also been known to have rare but severe neurological side-effects. Start using it a week or two before leaving to check for possible side-effects.
  • Chloroquine is not effective in Southern Africa since local resistance in mosquitoes has developed there. However, a combination of Chloroquine (Daramal / Nivaquine / Promal) weekly and Proguanil (Paludrine) daily has been tried; it can be taken safely up to three months, or very cautiously for six. It is generally well-tolerated and is available without prescription. Disadvantages include people taking the regime incorrectly due to is complexity and widespread resistance, particularly in South-East Asia.
  • Atovaquone / Proguanil combination (Malarone) and Primaquine are relatively new agents.
Mosquitoes

See also


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Manila in Philippines
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San_Juan
Hawaii
Moorea
Maldives
Syria
Saint_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines
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Botswana
South_Korea
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Oslo
Edinburgh
Travel in Laos

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