photo by CC user JJ Harrison on wikimedia commons
Mosquitoes are amongst the deadliest creatures to humans due to the abundance of diseases they can spread and the sheer amount of mosquitoes there are in the world. The risk of infection from mosquitoes is small in the UK, but in many areas of the world, mosquitoes are abundant and with their numbers, the risk of infection can be huge.
Unfortunately, diseases such as malaria and dengue fever have no vaccination currently, meaning the only way to avoid infection is to take precautionary measures.
Given there are many precautions you can take to prevent mosquito bites, the risks of infection shouldn’t completely put you off travelling the far reaches of the world. But it’s still important to remember that the risks are very real and mosquitoes are the cause of a huge number of fatalities each year. By taking precautionary measures, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you and your family can be safe from any unwanted infections.
The most obvious way to avoid mosquito bites is to cover up as much exposed skin as possible. This can seem like a difficult task in some of the more tropical areas of the world, but light fabrics that cover arms and legs are a good way to prevent bites and won’t make you too hot in the process.
There are many mosquito repellents on the market and it can often be hard to choose which one is the best. However, it is highly recommended you choose a repellent that is DEET based (50 per cent, ideally), as this has proven to be the most effective repellent so far. Make sure to reapply on a regular basis, especially after washing or before heading outdoors.
Sleep Under A Mosquito Net
A mosquito net that is covered in insecticide is most effective, but any net that won’t allow a mosquito to penetrate is a good way to prevent being bitten at night during sleep. Mosquitoes are often very active during the night time, making protection all the more important.
Take Malaria Prevention Tablets
Though there are currently no vaccinations to fully prevent infection from Malaria, there are many medicines that can minimise the risk of infection. Make sure you plan your trip; if you know you will enter a high risk area, the tablets should be taken two days before you enter and up to a month after you leave.
For the majority of cases, mosquito bites are merely an annoyance that can cause itching and a small amount of pain. But it must be remembered that the diseases spread by mosquitoes are often fatal. Before you travel, do your research as to what infections are common in the area you intend to visit and if there are vaccinations available, make sure you get them.
It’s important to remember to always take precautions to avoid mosquito bites if you don’t want your travels to be a disaster, as there are many diseases that have no vaccination currently.