The world is finally opening up again, which means people are now taking long-planned international trips. However, it’s important to brush up on some key health and safety information before you go. For example, are you aware of the common illnesses spread by mosquitos abroad? Below, we’ll give you the facts on dengue vs malaria so you can stay healthy while abroad.
Common Mosquito-Borne Diseases
While rare in the United States, mosquito-borne diseases are a big problem in other parts of the world, particularly in tropical countries near the equator. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as yellow fever, dengue fever, and malaria can be very serious, so it’s important to seek medical help if you have any disease symptoms.
Dengue Vs. Malaria
Dengue fever and malaria are two of the top concerns of global travelers. And while these diseases have similarities, they also have key differences. Firstly, when talking about dengue vs. malaria, it’s important to consider your location. Malaria is more prevalent in rural areas, whereas dengue is more common in urban regions. Both diseases cause flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, headaches, and nausea/vomiting. Generally speaking, malaria is the more severe of the two diseases, though it is also treatable and preventable. Dengue tends to be less severe, but can also be life-threatening in some cases.
Before your trip, visit an infectious disease doctor. They can give you a dengue vaccine, anti-malaria medication, or other treatments to prevent infections during your travels. They can also give you specific information depending on the location of your trip.
While you’re away, it’s important to protect yourself from mosquito bites, as these are what spread infections. Be sure to always wear insect repellent and long pants/sleeves. Also always sleep under a bug net or in a screened room to prevent bites during the night. A little extra caution goes a long way in preventing infections.
Sharaf Diwan, MD offers infectious disease care for recent travelers, as well as for people planning an international trip. We offer vaccinations, disease treatments, follow-up care, and more. Call (832) 604-0005 to book your appointment.