Danger of insect-borne disease while traveling

Editorial Team
Travel HealthWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Feb 24, 2011
Danger of insect-borne disease while traveling

Travellers must protect themselves against insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and leishmaniasis.


Yellow fever


Yellow fever is of two kinds:


Jungle yellow fever


Jungle yellow fever is spread from mosquitoes to monkeys in tropical rainforests. People contract yellow fever when they expose themselves in the jungle where they can get bitten by the mosquitoes. Jungle fever is, however, very rare and occurs in people who work in tropical rainforests.


Urban yellow fever


Urban yellow fever is spread bites from Aedes aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes breed in the flower pots, water storage containers and oil drums.


Symptoms yellow fever

  • Backache.
  • Headache.
  • High fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Muscles ache.
  • Loss of appetite.

Dengue Fever


Dengue fever is spread from one person to another by mosquito bites. After an incubation period of 5 days some symptoms are noticeable. A few of them are listed below—

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Headache.
  • Severe joint muscle pains.
  • Nausea.
  • Rashes – may appear 3-4 days after the onset of fever.They may also reappear after recovery.
  • Vomiting.



Malaria is cause by plasmodium which infects our red blood cells.


The disease is transmitted when an infected Anopheles mosquito bites a person and injects sporozites or malaria parasites into the blood. This parasite travels through the blood stream and reaches the lever where it matures and infects the RBCs. While in the RBCs, the parasites develop until a mosquito sucks blood meal from an infected person. This parasite mixes with mosquito’s saliva. These parasites complete and repeat the vicious cycle.


Symptoms of malaria usually appear between 10 and 15 days after Anopheles mosquito bite.

  • Fever.
  • Headache
  • Vomiting.

It let undiagnosed and untreated, it might create life-threatening situation.


Japanese encephalitis


The virus of Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by Culex mosquitoes which breed in places where there is abundant water, for instance paddy fields. Culex mosquitoes feed on local birds and animals. So, if you’re visiting a rural rice-growing or pig farming regions, you could be at a risk of contracting Japanese encephalitis.
Culex mosquitoes don’t bite during the night.


Symptoms of Japanese encephalitis

  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Headache
  • Fever



Leishmaniasis is caused by protozoan parasites and is transmitted by the bite of insect vector, phlebotomine sandfly.


Symptoms of Leishmaniasis

  • Skin sores which might surface weeks or months after a person is infected by sand flies.
  • Some which might manifest years or months later are fever, anaemia and damage to liver.
  • Enlarged spleen.
  • Weight loss.