Mosquitoes can spread serious, sometimes fatal infectious diseases, many of which cannot be prevented with vaccines. Therefore, effective prevention of mosquito bites is necessary to lower the likelihood of catching one of these diseases.
Talk to a Travel Health Specialist about how to avoid mosquito bites by the mosquitoes that transmit certain infectious diseases. Some options include:
Be sure to bring your own insect repellent on your trip. Your preferred product may not be available in other countries.
The food and beverage choices you make while traveling can impact your chance of getting sick. Contaminated food or beverages can cause traveler’s diarrhea and other diseases. Stay healthy abroad by making smart food and beverage choices. If you aren’t sure if a particular food or beverage is safe, the saying “boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it” may help you decide whether it’s okay to consume.
Here are some suggested tips for choosing safe food and water while traveling:
To learn more, visit the CDC’s Food and Water Safety website.
The contents of your traveler’s medical kit will depend on your trip schedule, destination, length of stay, style of travel, and whether you will have access to medical facilities.
Things to consider as a starting point:
For more information on the traveler’s medical kit, visit Pack Smart by the CDC.
Bites from monkeys, dogs, bats, rodents, and other animals frequently encountered during foreign travel could lead to a serious infection. In some cases, these animals’ saliva can be so heavily contaminated with pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and parasites) that you can get an infection if saliva gets into an existing cut or other body tissues.
Before you leave, you should have a current tetanus vaccination or proof of a booster vaccination in the past five to 10 years. A Travel Health Specialist should assess if you need a pre-exposure rabies vaccination.
While traveling, never try to pet, handle, or feed unfamiliar domestic or wild animals, even in captive settings such as game ranches or petting zoos. Take particular care in areas where rabies is found. Also be sure to watch young children carefully, as they have a greater chance of being bitten and sustaining more severe injuries from animal bites.
For more travel tips and suggestions, visit the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website.
Reference: Bair-Brake H, Wallace RM, Galland GG, Marano M. Animal-associated hazards. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/the-pre-travel-consultation/animal-associated-hazards. Updated June 13, 2017. Accessed September 12, 2017. Food and water safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/food-water-safety. Updated October 20, 2015. Accessed September 12, 2017. Hepatitis A. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/hepatitis-a. Updated March 9, 2013. Accessed September 12, 2017. Keystone JS, Kozarsky PE. Health recommendations for international travel. In: Kasper D, Fauci A, Hauser S, Longo D, Jameson JL, Loscalzo J, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2015. Mutebi JP, Hawley WA, Brogdon WG. Protection against mosquitoes, ticks, & other arthropods. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed September 12, 2017. Pack smart. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/pack-smart. Updated October 21, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2017. Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/typhoid-fever/prevention.html. Updated May 14, 2013. Accessed September 13, 2017. Repellents. American Mosquito Control Association website. http://www.mosquito.org/repellents. Accessed August 19, 2017. Six basic cholera prevention messages. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/six-messages.html. Updated November 9, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2017. Typhoid fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/typhoid. Updated March 9, 2013. Accessed September 12, 2017.