To be aware essentially means to know and in this case to know about mosquitoes as it is Mosquito and West Nile virus awareness week. And even if you are traveling you need to be aware of what mosquito-carried diseases you can acquire during your trip, because mosquitoes don’t differ locals from traveler visiting the country. To them blood is blood. So in this article, I compiled some useful travel tips in regards to mosquitoes and illnesses associated with them.
First and foremost before you travel especially to more exotic places such as Africa or any other place that is significantly different from the environment and climate you live in, you really need to do a research about this place. There are quite many countries that require you to get vaccinated for some diseases to be able to get into these countries, but there also are those that don’t require anything and you need to figure out what vaccines to get by yourself. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get everything sorted out, minimum six weeks, but I recommend to start planning about 2 months prior to the trip. Also, visit your general practitioner (GP) to make sure you are doing everything you need to do and are prepared in order to be healthy during and after your trip. You can even ask for special tablets that you can take to not get infected with malaria even if you do get bitten by mosquitoes.
Along with that, you should also consider food and water in these places. A big question that you need to ask yourself is can I drink tap water, or it’s just isn’t safe for my health to do that. When you find the answer to this question you can make further plans, for example, if the tap water is not safe to drink, then you shouldn’t also brush your teeth with that water to avoid any illnesses. Also, consider the food in these countries. Think about not only what you like or don’t like, but if you have some allergies and which national foods might contain the items you are allergic to. Consider also which foods are not safe to eat for an inexperienced foodie, because your stomach simply won’t handle and you will spend a part of your trip with a severe stomach ache, so-called traveler’s diarrhea or worse. And of course don’t eat any questionable fruits, vegetables or even unpasteurized milk products and so on, to avoid travel disaster.
Returning to mosquito themes also make sure you either take mosquito repellant with you or buy it on sight, because in some countries there are areas that are heavily infested with mosquitoes and even if you have been bitten by many mosquitoes previously, that amount of mosquito bites can cause an allergic reaction or even illnesses. Also, try to stay indoors during dusk and dawn hours in the areas where there are massive amounts of mosquitoes because that will further lessen the chance of you being bitten and getting sick with malaria or West Nile virus for example.
Also, a good tip is to wear long clothing that covers all of your legs and arms, and for this clothing to be loose because it is easier for mosquitoes to bite through skin-tight clothing as through loose clothing that touches your skin only in some places. And if a mosquito net is provided in your sleeping quarters, then always use it because it is placed there for a reason.
And lastly, sort out your travel insurance before your trip, because if anything happened during your trip this way you can be sure that you are covered and can get the treatment you need at that moment.