A Dangerous Liaison

While travelling you may encounter dangerous things. Keep your wits about you, acknowledge the risk and enjoy the journey anyways.

Which is the most dangerous animal out of the following?

a) Hippo

b) Cobra

c) Shark

d) Mosquito

The mosquito. This flying death machine packs a punch in the many fatal diseases it can transmit with 1 bite.

yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, encephalitis, West Nile virus (to name a few)

You can see and therefore avoid a hippo, cobra and shark but you can’t run or hide from a mosquito. Though there are natural remedies to help ward off mosquitoes (ingestion of B vitamins and garlic and application of citronella and geranium essential oils) studies thus far have proved inconclusive in their effectiveness.

When you weigh the risk of contracting a mosquito borne illness to the effects of the medication used to deal with them sometimes you just have to bite the bullet (or the mefloquine) and opt for the intervention of modern medicine.

DEET (the ubiquitous chemical used in commercial bug spray) is toxic but dengue fever can be fatal. Pick your poison wisely.

Tips to help safeguard you against the “world’s most dangerous animal”:

  • Avoid wearing perfume.
  • Keep skin covered-yes long sleeves and pants in the tropics!
  • Research your destination and make sure to visit a travel health clinic to get fully prepared.
  • Be aware that dusk to dawn is prime mosquito biting time and standing water and post monsoon season are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Use clothing and/or mosquito net treated with permethrin.
  • Sleep with netting over your bed.
  • Be vigilant with any changes to your health post-return. The symptoms of malaria can mimic those of the flu.

Categories: Health, Tips, Travel

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