When tropical diseases become a travel souvenirOnce standing in the rainforest, feeling the sounds, biodiversity and humid warmth or experiencing elephants in the wild, observing lions and discovering crocodiles – trips to faraway countries are experiences you will never forget. What should not be forgotten before the adventure is to prepare for tropical diseases. Because these are dangerous. You can find out which symptoms are typical for a tropical disease and what you should be aware of here.
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Typical symptoms for a tropical disease
Anyone who falls ill during or after a trip, especially to exotic countries, should become alert. For a tropical disease could be the trigger. One of the most important symptoms is fever. Almost all tropical diseases are accompanied by an increased body temperature. Possible is a mild fever of 38 degrees Celsius to high fever over 40 degrees Celsius.
Other typical symptoms of tropical diseases are:
– pain in the limbs – fatigue and concentration problems – diarrhea and/or vomiting
If you suffer from the aforementioned symptoms after a long-distance trip, you should see a doctor promptly. For the diagnosis it is important that you can name exactly when and where you have been. Because even within the same country, the risk of infection for diseases such as malaria can vary greatly.
A tropical disease can also take several weeks to months before it breaks out. However Illnesses such as influenza or a flu-like infection also characterized by the symptoms mentioned above. In order to clarify what is behind the symptoms, the doctor usually does a blood count.
The most significant tropical diseases
First of all, it should be said that the likelihood of tourists contracting a tropical disease is significantly lower than that of the local population. Nevertheless the unbroken travel desire of the Central Europeans leads to the fact that it Regular cases of infection gives. The two most common tropical diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes: malaria and dengue fever. Both are characterized by fever, aching limbs and nausea, and are found in tropical areas worldwide. The severity of the symptoms. The course of the diseases are variable. While dengue fever is usually uncomplicated, malaria is life-threatening and must be treated in a hospital.
Other tropical diseases spread by mosquitoes include Zika infections, yellow fever, West Nile fever, chikungunya fever and Japanese encephalitis:
– Infection with the Zika virus is accompanied by symptoms similar to mild flu and is usually unproblematic. The disease is particularly widespread in Central and South America and in Southeast Asia. It becomes dangerous when a pregnant woman is infected with the virus. Because the Zika virus can lead to permanent brain damage in the unborn child. The first phase of the disease is characterized by fever, headache and nausea. Approximately 15% of patients develop a second bout of the disease. This can be responsible for damage to internal organs. Being responsible at the nervous system. Yellow fever occurs in South and Central America as well as in the tropical countries of Africa. – Also that West Nile fever is similar to influenza. Half of patients experience a rash at the end of the illness. West Nile fever usually heals without treatment. The infectious disease is widespread on all continents. – Typical for the Chikungunya fever The symptoms of West Nile fever are fever, severe muscle and joint pain, and patchy skin rashes. As a rule, the tropical disease, which is found in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, heals on its own. Rarely, the joint symptoms persist for months to years. – Japanese encephalitis can often be completely asymptomatic, but if symptoms do occur, they are often similar to those of influenza. If the disease is severe, it can cause inflammation of the brain, which can z.B. Consciousness disorders. Paralysis can make itself felt. Japanese encephalitis is particularly widespread in Southeast Asia, although the risk of infection for tourists can be classified as rather low.
In addition Infections with parasitic worms not uncommon. The so-called Skin mole, Larva migrans, vacationers can catch while walking barefoot on the beach, for example in the Caribbean, Africa and Southeast Asia, as well as in the Maldives or in some areas on the Mediterranean Sea. Hookworm larvae penetrate the skin through the soles of the feet, creating ducts in the skin that protrude in a reddish color. Treatment with a special agent against the parasites is then recommended.
How to protect yourself from tropical diseases
Vacationers can significantly reduce the likelihood of contracting a tropical disease by Some precautions meet:
– Inform yourself at least three months before the trip about the situation in your destination country . Have recommended vaccinations done. These include, for example, vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, yellow fever or Japanese encephalitis. Protect yourself from mosquitoes – during the day and at night. A good mosquito repellent and following some mosquito protection tips, such as using mosquito nets and wearing long clothing, are appropriate measures. – Walk if possible not barefoot on beaches frequented by dogs and cats and avoid bathing in warm inland waters. Here you can easily be affected by parasitic worms.
And most importantly: Pay attention to hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly before every meal. A disinfectant spray is also useful. Drink only water from packaged bottles and avoid fruit that is eaten unpeeled and ice (both in drinks and dessert).