Travel Clinics of America is your best choice for receiving high-quality pre-travel care, sound travel advice, and peace of mind.
Germs and Worms
Vaccines offer travelers important protection against serious infectious diseases. Many diseases have no available vaccines or effective treatment, so travelers must make every effort to prevent them. These protective measures will also reduce the risk of developing diseases you have been vaccinated against, since vaccines are not 100% effective.
Mosquitoes, worms, lice, fleas and flies, ticks, mites, and protozoa all transmit diseases to travelers. Follow these steps to lower your risk of exposure:
- Use insect repellant with 30% to 50% DEET on all exposed skin. Apply sunscreen before insect repellent. Wash off repellent with soap and water when back indoors.
- Treat clothes, tents, netting, and shoes with permethrin to repel insects. Follow package directions carefully.
- Use mosquito bed netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Make sure sleep accommodations have secure screens in windows.
- Wear long pants and long sleeved shirts to minimize exposed skin.
- Tuck pants into socks, and keep shirts tucked in when hiking.
- Wear shoes or boots that fully cover your feet when hiking, including beach walking.
- If you find a tick attached to you, gently grasp it with tweezers and pull straight out. Save the specimen to show a medical professional in the event you become ill.
- At the end of the day, do a “tick check” on yourself. If you wear light colored clothing, ticks will be easier to spot. Wash and sanitize hands frequently.
- Your travel medicine provider can give you customized information about germs and worms for your particular destination.