Germs and Worms

Travel Clinics of America - Germs and Worms

Vaccines offer travelers important protection against serious infectious diseases. Many diseases have no available vaccines so travelers must make every effort to prevent them, especially since many of these illnesses have no effective treatment. 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 & flies, ticks, mites and protozoa transmit diseases to travelers.

  • Use insect repellant with 30% to 50% DEET on all exposed skin. Apply sunscreen before insect repellent. Wash repellent off 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 tighter 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 fully covered shoes or boots 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 at your particular destination.

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