Tropical Disease Facts

Prevention and Treatment for Common Tropical Diseases

Amebiasis can be prevented by following proper hand washing procedures, by boiling or drinking filtered water or bottled water, by cooking your food properly, and also by avoiding fly-contaminated foods.

The tropical diseases that occur most often are Amebiasis, chagas disease, cholera, dengue fever, filariasis, giardiasis, leishmaniasis, malaria, schistosomiasis, and also yellow fever.

Amebiasis can be prevented by following proper hand washing procedures, by boiling or drinking filtered water or bottled water, by cooking your food properly, and also by avoiding fly-contaminated foods. The treatment for amebiasis is usually metronidazole (flagyl) 750 mg taken 3 times each day for a total of 10 days and then iodoquinol 650 mg 3 times a day for the next 20 days.

Chagas disease can be prevented by avoiding the assassin bugs also known as kissing or ruduviid bugs. They hide in adobe hut structures or thatched roof or med dwellings. It is also wise to avoid having to receive blood transfusions in Latin America. There is no treatment for chronic chagas disease but acute illness can be shortened with nifurtimox which has some severe side effects to it. Two other medications that can be taken for chagas disease in the acute stage is benznidazol or ragonil.

The best way to avoid getting cholera is to avoid eating raw or undercooked food and also avoid eating reheated foods or seafood, especially ceviche. Vaccines are not recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is also wise to disinfect food and water. Treatment for cholera caused by Vibrio cholerae is to re-hydrate the patient, and use antibiotics Cipro 1 gm as a single dose and Floxin 800 mg as a single dose, doxycycline, tetracycline or furazolidone.

The only prevention for dengue fever is to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible by wearing clothing that covers your body (long sleeves and long pants), sleeping in air conditioned rooms, or use a bed netting that is of good quality. You can also use insect repellent. Treatment for dengue fever is to treat the symptoms as there is no cure for dengue fever. Usually the symptoms will disappear after one week. It is important to rest, drink fluids to re-hydrate, and to take pain medication.

Tropical Skin Disease

Tips for traveling safely in tropical diseased areas: Take antimalarial pills Avoid mosquito bites Use sunblock when traveling to tropical climates to avoid burns that can be entry points for disease causing agents. Drink only boiled water or commercially bottled water Avoid ice, salads and reheated foods, uncooked shellfish and street vendor food Do not swim in fresh water unless you know for sure it is free of biharzia (schistosomiasis) if you are traveling to the Caribbean, South America, Africa or the Middle East or even Southeast Asia. Tropical Skin Disease

The way to prevent filariasis is to avoid mosquitoes, black flies in Latin America, and the red flies in Africa, biting midges, and by taking prophylaxis with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) weekly or monthly. Parsites must be cleared first before using the preventative diethylcarbamazine. The treatment for filariasis is a high-dose of ivermectin (200 micrograms/kg) for lymphatic filariasis; ivermectin (150 micrograms/kg every 6 months for 1 year, and then annually for at least 5 years) for onchoceriasis; diethylcarbamazine (75 mg/kg total, but you must start out with 1/4 tablet per day and then you must slowly work up to 3 tablets 3 times a day for over a period of 3 weeks to avoid anaphylactic shock from destruction of the worms. Another treatment is ivermectin (400 microgram/kg) as a single dose for loiasis.

Prevention techniques for giardiasis is to follow proper hand washing procedures and to boil water or use filtered or bottle water. You must cook food well to avoid giardiasis and also to avoid anal-oral contact. The treatment for is metronidazole (flagyl) 500 mg 3 times a day for a week; quinacrine (atabrine) 100 mg 3 times a day for a week - this medication is not available in the United States as well as tinidazole is not available in the United States either another medication that is not available in the United States is furazolidone.

The only way to prevent leishmaniasis is to avoid sand fly bites. There are two types of leishmaniasis (visceral and mild cutaneous) The usual treatment for visceral leishmaniasis is intravenous (IV) sodium stibogluconate (Pentostam) 20 mg/kg taken each day for 30 to 40 days. The treatment for mild cutaneous leishmaniasis is to take dapsone 100 mg two times a day for 6 weeks or you can take ketoconazole 600 mg each day for 28 days.

Prevention for malaria is to avoid getting mosquito bites. This can be achieved by using insect repellent, treating your clothes with permethrin, sleeping in a air conditioned room or by sleeping under a mosquito net of good quality. You can also take prophylactic medicines like mefloquine, chloroquine, and also proquanil. The treatment for malaria is mefloquine, chloroquine, proguanil, quinine, quinidine, and artemisinin (qinghaosu).

You can avoid contaminated water by using chlorinated water or sea water as a preventative for schistosomiasis. It is also wise to heat bath water to 122 degrees F for more than five minutes, or let water sit for three days in a container. Treatment for schistosomiasis is a single dose of 40 mg/kg of praziquantil (Biltricide) a curative.

The only preventative for yellow fever is to take a vaccine every 10 years and to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. There is no cure for yellow fever only supportive therapy for those who have contracted yellow fever.

Better Your Health


What are Tropical Diseases
Are You Aware of the Neglected Tropical Diseases
Preventing Tropical Diseases
Prevention and Treatment for Common Tropical Diseases
The Six Neglected Tropical Diseases
Tropical Disease and Africa
Tropical Diseases in Brasil
What Every Traveler Should Know About Preventing Tropical Disease
What is Dengue Fever
Where are Tropical Diseases Occurring
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