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John D. Wilson, M.D.
1200 Hilyard St., Ste. 560
Eugene, Oregon 97401 USA
fax 541.485.7702


the short version

Mosquitoes may transmit malaria, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever and other diseases. Using personal protection against mosquitoes in certain areas is a good idea even if medicines are taken to prevent malaria. You are invited to read the information below for more information.

the long version

PERSONAL PROTECTION MEASURES (mosquito precautions)   Anopheles mosquitoes feed (and malaria transmission occurs) mostly between dusk and dawn. Travelers should take protective measures to reduce contact with mosquitoes especially during these hours. These measures include remaining in well-screened areas, using mosquito nets when sleeping and wearing clothes that cover most of the body. Additionally, travelers should be advised to purchase insect repellent before travel for use on exposed skin. Effective repellents contain N,N diethymethylbenzamine (DEET), an ingredient in many commercially available insect repellents. DEET is considered the most reliable and long-lasting repellent. Products containing picardin and other substances have also been shown to help repel mosquitoes. They may be more pleasant, but are water soluble, are affected by sweating an should be applied more often.

DEET (up to 50% concentration) may be used on children over age 3 months. Adults may use up to 99% DEET. in adults. The actual concentration of DEET varies among repellents, ranging up to 100 percent. These measures may also help prevent other insect-borne diseases, such as African tick fever and leishmaniasis.

The possibility of adverse reactions to DEET will be minimized if the following precautions are taken: apply repellent sparingly to exposed skin only; do not inhale or ingest repellents or get them into the eyes; avoid applying repellents to portions of childrens' hands likely to have contact with eyes or mouth; never use repellent on wounds or irritated skin (such as poison oak, psoriasis or eczema). Do not allow children under the age of 10 years to apply insect repellent to themselves. Consider washing repellent-treated skin after coming indoors. If a suspected reaction to insect repellent occurs, wash treated skin and seek medical attention. Use 20-30% or lesser concentration if DEET is used on small children.

Travelers may choose to use a pyrethrum-containing flying insect spray or coils in living and sleeping areas during evening and nighttime hours.

Permethrin (Permanone) may be sprayed on clothing for protection against mosquitoes. Retreatment is advised after every 20 washings.

Personal protection against ticks and other insects which may transmit diseases may be considered.

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  John D. Wilson, M.D. 1999-2018; Last Update 2/26/2018