The diseases mentioned below are spread throughout the Americas, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. The risk of getting infected – particularly with Malaria – affects Flores as well. Therefore, we highly recommend you to seek medical advice and take the necessary measures before you start on your trip. (link to vaccinations)
Dengue Fever is caused by an infection with the dengue virus, which is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans. The transmission occurs through the bite of a mosquito and has an incubation period of three to fourteen days. The virus is widespread in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide, predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas.
The research on medical dengue prevention for public health use is in process. Until now, there is unfortunately no a vaccination or other prophylaxis available. An infection can only be prevented by avoiding the mosquito bites.The course of disease varies. In mild cases, the disease subsides between three to seven days.
For approximately 2-4 % of the cases, the disease takes a severe course where the dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) can even cause death.
The symptoms resemble a common cold with fever (40° C are not uncommon), chills, severe headaches as well as joint and muscle pain. Along with a rash, these symptoms are referred to as the ‘dengue triad’.
As many other tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, Flores is considered to be a high risk area for Malaria.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. The main symptoms of malaria are fever, headache, and vomiting. They usually break out between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. The diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory analysis of a blood sample.
As there is no vaccination against malaria, avoiding mosquito bites is the most important element of malaria prevention. Additionally, the risk of developing a severe form of Malaria can be reduced by prophylactic measures (chemoprophylaxis) or by carrying emergency malaria drugs (standby therapy).
As in many parts of the world the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines. Before starting your trip, get advice from a specialist in tropical medicine about the effectiveness of the different medications.
How to avoid bites?
Mosquito bites can be limited by wearing protective clothing (avoid dark-colored or black clothing as it attracts mosquitoes) and using mosquito repellent sprays or mosquito nets for malaria prevention. As the adult tiger mosquitoes, which cause dengue fever, are active during the day, your options for protection are limited. Mosquito repellent sprays with a high DEET content are most effective in lowering the risk of a mosquito bite.
Japanese B Encephalitis
Japanese B Encephalitis, caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus, is a rare disease in travelers. However, many locals are infected each year. This disease, with an incubation period of 5 to 15 days, is most prevalent in Southeast Asia and the Far East. Domestic pigs and wild birds are the most common hosts of the virus. Thus, most cases occur in rural areas. Vaccination is recommended for travelers spending more than one month in rural areas. There is no specific treatment, it is supportive with assistance given for feeding, breathing or seizure control as required.
Rabies is a potentially fatal disease which is triggered by the bites of infected animals, mostly dogs or monkeys. If you happen to be bitten by an animal, you should look for medical treatment immediately in any case. Gently wash the wound with soap and water and apply an iodine-based antiseptic as a first-aid measure. A vaccination with ‘pretavel’, which is a vital part of your medical pre-journey preparations, will simplify the rabies treatment significantly. If you missed this vaccination, you urgently need to intake rabies immunoglobulin.
Traveler’s Diarrhea (Please read about “Food and Water” above)