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There are various tropical diseases that can be transmitted to human beings through mosquito bites.
In some cases, there are vaccines or medicines that are useful for preventing the disease, as is the case with yellow fever or malaria. But in other cases, the only tool to reduce the risk of disease is preventing bites.
In these cases, all travellers who go to tropical zones are recommended to employ the following anti-mosquito measures:
Use mosquito repellent specifically for tropical areas. It should be applied to all exposed areas of the body, especially when doing outdoor activities. Its use is recommended throughout the whole journey, day and night, for stays in both rural and urban areas.
Repellents containing ≥20% DEET are the most recommended. Alternatively, repellents based on other compounds such as icaridin (>20%), IR3535 (>30%) or PMD (>30%) can be used.
If you are also using sun protection, it should be applied first. Then apply the repellent after 10-15 minutes.
Sleep with mosquito nets permeated with repellent, or in rooms with air conditioning.
Wear suitable clothing. Cool clothing in light colours that covers as much of the arms and legs as possible.
Vaccination or specific medication are additional preventative measures to prevent certain diseases.
The risks may vary widely depending on the characteristics of the trip (destination, duration, type of trip), as well as the traveller’s personal conditions (age, pregnancy, chronic diseases, etc.). You are therefore advised to seek medical advice before a trip, in order to personalise the recommendations for each situation.
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