Tropical Disease Facts

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  • Tropical diseases can be controlled by medications, better living conditions and improved waste sanitation facilities. Programs that give nutritional support to those who live in areas hit by tropical diseases helps to strengthen the body's resistance to the effects of disease. Community-wide vaccination programs and medical treatment programs can make a difference. Getting these programs started is often difficult because of local resistance.
  • The ability to diagnose, treat and even prevent these 6 diseases exists; the goal to eliminate these diseases is real. There are low or no-cost medications available from four of the major pharmaceutical companies, namely - GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis, and Pfizer who have already donated drugs and cash support. Treatment intervals that are community based is possible which will offer the ability to combine treatments that will be more cost effective and have a greater impact on more of the population.
  • Tropical diseases are also caused by parasites including worms, female aedes, anopheles and other mosquitoes. Flatworms and snails also can cause tropical disease. Disease can be contracted from swimming in fresh water or bathing and drinking it. Chlorinated pools and salt water is considered lower risk. Another preventative is to let bathing water sit for 3 days before using it.
  • 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.
  • Schistosomiasis is also known as Bilharzia. This disease is contracted by blood transmission by way of freshwater snails. The symptoms of the disease are: blood in the urine, anemia, impaired growth, and life-threatening bladder cancer. Kidney malfunction, liver and spleen complications are also common complications of the disease. The drug praziquantel can treat those infected with this disease. The disease can also be controlled by providing adequate disposal methods for feces and urine. The organization, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) is helping those who are at high risk in Sub- Saharan Africa.
  • Malaria is a huge problem in Africa that is aggravated by the fact that it is becoming resistant to antimalarial drugs. Africa needs to control the efforts better by following strategic plans and fostering coordinate partnerships with African scientists and Northern partners. The strategic plans should include future development of new antimalarial drugs, the understanding of the pathogens that cause malaria, vector dynamics and the logistics of the spread of the disease.
  • River blindness is also prevalent in Brazil and is a disease transmitted by the bite of a female black fly. They bite during the day and are found by rivers and streams in Brazil. Risk of infection is greater if you live or work near fly habitats. There are no vaccines for either river blindness or chemoprophylaxis applications so protective measures must be taken. Avoid areas known to have black flies and wear protective clothing.
  • You used to have to have an immunization against Cholera but the World Health Organization (WHO) has a policy that states that it is no longer required for travelers to have. Specialist who know where the disease outbreaks are occurring and what to do to prevent contracting these diseases can be found at so check this Website during your preparations for traveling to be well informed about what you may need to do to protect yourself against tropical diseases while traveling.
  • The best way to prevent the spread of dengue fever is to eliminate the risks that mosquitoes pose by using insect repellent that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Use protective clothing that includes long sleeves, long pants, socks and shoes. The Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day; it is imperative that you are especially careful to avoid mosquitoes during the day. You can also keep all unscreened windows and doors closed, spray screens with insect repellent, use a bedding net while sleeping and to eliminate all areas that mosquitoes can use to breed in such as standing water, containers with standing water such as birdbaths and discarded tires.
  • Sand flies are responsible for the transmission of Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease. The skin sores that signal the disease appear within weeks or months after being bitten. The disease is prevalent in Bangladesh, Brasil, India, Nepal and Sudan. It occasionally shows up in northern Argentina, southern Texas in the U.S., northern Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Those who are out between dusk and dawn are at highest risk. To prevent Leishmaniasis wear protective clothing and use insect repellent. Placing permethrin on bed netting, window screens and clothing can deter sand flies.

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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