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Travel with Tessa

Top 10 Tips
Mosquitoes – Malaria, Dengue, West Nile Virus and Zika

Find out before leaving home if you’ll be visiting a Malaria area. Malaria comes from a mosquito bite as do Dengue, the Zika Virus and West Nile Virus.

  1. The best protection against mosquitoes is to be vigilant against being bitten in the first place.
  2. Avoid being outdoors in a mosquito area at dawn and at dusk when the winds are calm – and mosquitoes are out, hungry for your juicy flesh to feed on.
    1. Mosquitoes are known to be drawn to C02 (carbon dioxide) and heat, so when you are outdoors at dawn or dusk working out, sweating, and breathing heavily, you become their best friend.
    2. Mosquitoes are drawn to stagnant water. Avoid pools of stagnant water.
    1. Dressing in long sleeve, light colored clothing, and baring as little skin as possible helps enormously.
    2. I wear the bottoms of my slacks tucked into long socks, wear a scarf around my neck that has been pretreated with mosquito repellant (available in sporting goods and camping stores) and use a mosquito repellant ointment such as Ultrathon – (just a few drops) around my wrists.
      If ones arms or legs are exposed, it’s a good idea to also rub some around ones elbows, ankles, and neck.
    1. If we know we are going to an area where Malaria is prevalent, we take prescription medication before arriving at our destination.
      Note: One must consult with a doctor in order to obtain a prescription. We have found Malarone, which is a combination of two drugs – Atovaquone and Proguanil – to be effective and have experienced none of the horrible side effects of the malaria medication of years gone by.
    2. Important: as far as I know there are currently no medications available to protect one against Dengue, Zika, and the West Nile Virus. So the best remedy is to protect against getting bitten in the first place.
  3. I always carry a few mosquito wipes which come in a pack or individual sachets, which I purchase from stores like Rei or Adventure 16. One never knows when you’ll find yourself out at dusk without protective clothing – so having mosquito wipes handy is a good idea.
  4. There are also some natural remedies that some people swear by.
    1. Neemoil mixed with some coconut oil and rubbed on the skin.
    2. Catnip oil.
    3. Raw garlic or garlic oil rubbed on your skin. (You may succeed in keeping more than mosquitoes away).
  5. Keeping fans blowing in a room and outdoor fans in the garden, help to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
  6. If one does get bitten – the hardest thing is to avoid scratching. Use all your willpower to avoid scratching.
    1. I always carry a tube of Chamomile lotion for bites or itchy skin, also a small tube of Aloe Vera. Aveeno makes an excellent and effective Chamomile lotion.
    2. Tea Tree Oil is also a soothing remedy – as is rubbing a used tea bag over the itchy bites.
    3. Soaking in a bathtub of warm water to which you have added several cups of cider vinegar, also tames and calms the itch.