Bite prevention against malaria [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript

STREAMING WELL

Tom Jenkinson - Filmmaker: I'm going on a work trip to South Sudan with a high risk of tropical disease in East Africa, like malaria. It's essential for me to prevent myself getting bitten by mosquitoes. It's important to visit a healthcare professional, either at your GP's or a travel clinic before your trip to discuss certain vaccinations you might need and also antimalarial tablets you should be taking.

However, the best way to prevent infection is for me to do everything I can whilst I'm on my trip to protect against mosquito bites.

One of the best ways for me to protect against mosquito bites is by using a powerful insect repellent with a high DEET content. DEET is an active ingredient approved by the World Health Organization, and when I'm visiting a high-risk malaria country like East Africa, it's its advice to use a repellent with a 50% DEET content. It's essential to cover all exposed areas of the skin with the insect repellent, including your face, neck, ankles, and hands. Be careful not to get any repellent near your eyes whilst applying it to your face because it's quite acidic.

The heat in tropical countries like South Sudan will most likely cause you to sweat excessively, and so it's important to reapply the insect repellent a number of times during the day and night. DEET is acidic, and so it helps to prevent having to apply it to certain areas of the skin but covering up with trousers, socks, and long-sleeved shirts whenever possible.

It can also be useful to wear baggy clothes because mosquitoes can bite through material, and so it's better for the clothes to hang off the body.

It's most important at night to sleep underneath a mosquito net. You can buy these from all good travel health clinics or outdoor pursuit shops or online. It is possible for the mosquitoes to bite through the net, so ensure when you're putting it up that it's not going to fall down during the night, and make sure that the net is never in direct contact with your skin. Be sure to buy a kit with multiple attachment options as you never know which surface you might have to attach it to. You can buy these kits from the same outlets as the mosquito net.

Although I'm going to have all the vaccinations I need for East Africa and I'm going to be taking antimalarials before, during, and after my trip, I'm also going to try my best not to get bitten by any mosquitoes.

STREAMING WELL - www.streamingwell.com - copyright 2011

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