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Bite Avoidance

Insect Borne Diseases
A wide range of tropical diseases are spread by biting insects, the most dangerous to the traveller being malaria. Antimalarial tablets are not 100% effective and precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes must be taken by travellers to malaria endemic areas. It should also be emphasised that malaria is not the only potential problem and the following information regarding bite avoidance can reduce the risk of a range of other tropical diseases. Once you have decided on your journey plan, check with your local GP or our travel clinics which diseases are endemic to your trip.
- The most dangerous disease to travellers predominately to the tropics
- Transmitted by female Anopheles mosquito which feeds from dusk to dawn
- Areas affected: South-East Asia, Pacific, Africa, South America Prevention
- Use chemo prophylaxis (antimalarials)
- Cover up with long sleeves, trousers & socks from dusk to dawn
- Use insect repellents
- Treat your clothing with bugproof clothing treatment
- Sleep under a treated mosquito net
- Carry standby malaria treatment with you if you are 24 hours away from medical help 

- Most active at dawn and dusk - Areas affected: Southern Mediterranean, Middle East, Northern Africa, parts of Central Africa, South-East AsiaPrevention
- Sleep under a treated mosquito net (they will enter an untreated one)
- Sandflies find it hard to jump up high so sleeping high up such as on the roof of a building is a good deterrent
- Use repellents
- Avoid moving around outside at dusk and dawn 
Sleeping Sickness
- Transmitted by the Tsetse fly
- Feed during the daytime
- Attracted to dark blue clothing
- Attracted to fast moving objects such as a vehicle on safari
- Areas affected: Tropical Africa
- Cover up with long sleeves, trousers & socks
- Repellents have some use, but not always effective
- Treat your clothing with bugproof clothing treatment
- In a vehicle keep the windows closed and use a knock down spray containing Permethrin to kill any flies already there 
Tick borne Encephalitis, Lyme Disease, Typhus
- All transmitted by ticks
- Live in warm forested areas, moorland, grassland
- Areas affected: Each of the above diseases are found in different parts of the world, however, ticks carrying diseases affect most of the world Prevention
- Cover up with trousers & socks
- Apply bugproof clothing treatment to your socks & trousers
- When walking in suspect areas regularly check for ticks
- If an embedded tick is found slowly pull the tick out with tweezers avoiding leaving any of it behind in the skin 
Dengue Fever
- Transmitted by Aedes mosquito - Daytime feeder
- Areas affected: South-East Asia, Pacific, Africa, Caribbean, South America, North Australia
- Cover up with long sleeves, trousers & socks
- Use insect repellents
- Treat your clothing with bugproof clothing treatment Back to topYellow Fever- Transmitted by 'rain forest' and 'city' mosquito
- Feeds at anytime
- Areas affected: Rain forest areas of South America and Central Africa
- Vaccination - Virtually 100% effective
- Use insect repellents Back to topOnchocerciasis- Parasitic worm transmitted by Black Fly
- Flies found near swiftly flowing rivers
- Can cause blindness if not treated
- Areas affected: Tropical Africa, Central & South America, Yemen
- Avoid staying in such areas for long periods of time Back to topThere are many other diseases spread by insects and parasites such as Plague, Chagas Disease and Tambu Fly. Any of the travel health books will give you additional information.  ExpeditionsMost expeditions are in rural settings.Your leader will be able to tell you what sort of environment and health risks from biting insects you can expect. Use the map, information and Usage Guidelines to help you choose the right products for your trip. If you are the leader, it could save you a lot of hassle if you encourage all group members to carry the same supplies.
You need to take a bit of everything to cover all the possible eventualities. When you arrive at a destination, it is worth making a trip to the local tourist office or asking a local who will more than likely know if you are entering a biting insect health risk zone. If you discover you are, utilise bite avoidance measures immediately - but if you are unsure, use them anyway.


Cities are generally less affected by diseases from biting insects as rural areas but this is not an absolute rule. There are always bed bugs and mosquitoes to be found in non-air conditioned hotel bedrooms. If you are prone to being bitten, it's always better to sleep under a mosquito net even in non-disease risk areas.
Some Jungle and tropical regions of the world are the home of the most life-threatening insect-borne diseases. Mosquitoes are your main problem and ticks or chigger fleas can also cause some tropical diseases. Rigorous bite avoidance measures are essential as part of your daily routine. Ensure you take enough supplies for any travel off-the-beaten track keeping in mind re-application is frequent. Keep repellent on you at all times.
Anywhere there is water there are insects. In dry areas of the world, water holes are the main breeding ground for mosquitoes. You may wish to take a head net for extra protection and comfort in the early evenings. There may be other insects such as sand flies which carry diseases. Check out the area you are visiting or passing through with our travel health centre to find out if you will be at risk of insect-borne diseases.


Trekking over 2000 metres altitudes is safe from malaria as the mosquitoes don't tend to survive. Repellent may be useful if you are camping around water.

 Man trekking through the jungle
    Nomad©. This is only intended to be a brief guide. Information may change without notice. Nomad Travel Clinics cannot accept responsibility for any omissions.  ALWAYS check with your GP or travel health medical specialist 6 to 8 weeks prior to your departure.