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Dealing with bugs at a tropical destination

Planning a holiday? Consider the bugs
Planning a holiday? Consider the bugs

Staff writers

July 26, 2012 — Planning a trip to a tropical destination? GDG Environment says you should do your research to avoid any health risks related to insects.

Some diseases transmitted by insects can be deadly
Some diseases transmitted by insects can be deadly

Dealing with bugs when you're on vacation may not be something you consider while planning a tropical getaway.

According to GDG Environment however, it's something you should definitely keep in mind.

GDG Biologist Richard Vadeboncoeur says, travellers have to be informed, equipped and vigilant during travel and afterwards.

"There is a host of diseases transmitted by insects in tropical regions, and in temperate regions as well. Some are mild, but some are deadly or can affect the health of a person for life, especially if wrongly diagnosed and not treated."

Carrying a good bug repellent is useful
Carrying a good bug repellent is useful

Vadeboncoeur adds that getting information about local insects before travelling will be both entertaining and useful health wise.

"Insects are the most abundant animals on earth, many harmless and even beautiful, and some dangerous such as disease-transmitting mosquitoes. "

The decision to travel or not is a personal one, but knowing the risks is always important.

"Stick to protection measures in a constant way, and not necessarily 'do as the locals do,'" says Vadeboncoeur.

GDG offers a checklist of things people should do before heading to a tropical spot:

  • After choosing your destination, consult a travellers clinic and get professional advice on vaccines, prophylaxis, medications and protection measures.
  • Secure all the adequate medications and equipment (Benadryl, Bednet, etc).
  • Carry a good repellent, bring proper clothes (long sleeves, etc).
  • Consult your travel service for rules on what can be carried on board.
  • It is important to mention previous travels and destinations when consulting for a medical problem afterwards. This will help doctors include tropical diseases in their range of potential diagnostics.

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