For more information, see the topic
Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling.
To prevent fungal or
parasitic infections and injuries, do not go barefoot. Try to keep your feet as
clean and dry as possible.
Although sea water is usually safe
from disease, swimming or diving in sea water can still be dangerous. Avoid
swimming or wading in sea water near a river, estuary, or other outlet from
inland. Swimming when you have an open cut or sore can also increase your risk
of getting an infection. In developing countries, sea water around big cities
and other populated areas may not be safe. For more information, see the topic
Marine Stings and Scrapes.
Mosquitoes, flies, fleas,
and ticks all spread disease, including
West Nile fever,
South African tick-bite fever,
yellow fever, and dengue fever.
is the insect-borne disease of most concern to travelers in tropical and
subtropical regions. Although antimalarial medicines kill the malaria parasite
in the bloodstream, this protection is not complete and mosquito bites should
be avoided. To ward off mosquitoes, travelers should take protective measures
along with the antimalarial medicine. Here are some tips:
DEET or other insect repellents on your skin.
- Sleep under a bed net to prevent insects from biting you while you sleep. Permethrin or
deltamethrin insecticide sprayed on bed nets will protect against mosquitoes
for weeks to months.
- Mosquito coils can also help keep mosquitoes
- Wear light-colored and
loose-fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts, especially from dusk to dawn,
when mosquitoes that spread malaria bite. Insect repellent applied to clothing
is effective for longer than it may be on the skin.
- Home remedies like eating garlic, rubbing garlic on your
skin, or taking vitamin B do not prevent bites.
Ticks inhabit many regions, including Europe, Canada, and
the United States, and carry many diseases, including
Rocky Mountain spotted fever,
Colorado tick fever,
South African tick-bite fever, and
babesiosis. Although it is rare for travelers to
contract diseases from ticks, many of these diseases are serious. For
information on how to prevent tick bites, see the Prevention section of the
Sun and heat exposure
Many travelers underestimate the sun's strength and overestimate the
amount of protection their sunscreens offer. This can add up to at least an
uncomfortable sunburn and, at worst, life-threatening
To avoid these
- Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day, when
ultraviolet light (UV) is greatest. In most areas,
this is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Apply sunscreen blocks for both
UVA and UVB rays with a sun protection factor (SPF) of
at least 15. Use liberally on areas of the body not protected by clothing and
reapply frequently, especially during midday and when you're swimming or
sweating. It's safest to keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun. If you can't keep your baby out of the sun, cover your child's skin with hats and clothing. Protect any bare skin with a small amount of sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher. For more information, see the topic
- Wear UV-protective
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat, long pants, and
loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts.
- Watch for signs of
dehydration, most importantly little and/or
- Limit exertion and drink plenty of fluids. If
rehydration drinks to replace lost fluids and