Sunday, 13 February 2011

All about travel bugs

In July 2000, a 41 year-old Taiwanese patient was released from an eight-meter long tapeworm just from his intestine. This tremendous job was performed by Dr. Chung Wen Cheng, an expert of parasitology at Taipei Medical University Hospital. The Thai patient got the tapeworm from one of his trips to Malaysiasix years earlier; most possibly it was the result of consuming meat undercooked.

‘The man had the complaint of abdominal pain, itching and nausea’, said Dr. Cheng. The man was even hungry all the time but his abdomen was really full and seemed to be much bigger ‘. The patient took laxative concoction of atatrine and soda and just after two hours the unwanted giant wriggled off from the intestine. Now-a-day travelers have to stay in a variety of places where these huge bugs are abundant. So is it not better being alert of them than bringing them to our home straightway? Here is a gallery of these parasites:

Malaria: China, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines,Pakistan, South Korea, Vietnam &Thailand.

In more than hundred countries approximately one million deaths are caused per year are due to malaria, the most dangerous of all parasitic diseases. And it is simple to be the victim. Only one bite from an infected mosquito may pass the disease into the bloodstream. Just within four weeks serious bouts of chills and fever and muscle aches will come on surface. A more virulent form of the same diseases ‘cerebral malaria’ may be fatal if you’re away from a clinic. If not properly treated, malaria can be your life time partner.

The symptoms may be visible on a semi-annual basis. However, the prescribed drugs can alleviate these symptoms. Bur ‘prevention is better than cure’ is the better option. Drugs like Chloroquin, Mefloquin, and Doxycycline are highly effective against strains. If you’re reluctant to take these drugs then you’re to follow these simple steps: use strong insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Most important of all you need to relax and sleep under ‘mosquito net’.

Leishmaniasis: India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

You’re hiking through the forest and suddenly feel sand fly nibbling your ankles. The job is done. It means it has brought Leishmaniasis (locally known as black fever) with devastating consequences. The fever arrives in two variations: one which attacks the internal organs and the other which attacks the skin. The internal form is so severer that causes fever, weight loss and enlarged liver. If not treated, Leishmaniasis can be serious.

Travelers have to be careful of the insect as there is no vaccine available. These stupid sand flies are silent. So, it’s wise avoiding activities in outdoor at high-risk areas from nightfall to dawn.

Schistosomiasis: China, Laos, Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Suppose you’re diving in a fresh water pool of Philippines. There’s chance that a wily parasite larva approaches and gets inserted through your exposed skin.

Left untreated, this parasite is able enough to permanently collapse the liver, kidneys as well as bladder and intestines. So to avoid the risk don’t bathe in suspect freshwater pools, streams or lakes.

Lympahatic Filariasis: Southern Asia

Another type of mosquito is active there which can cause a threw-like filarial worm. It passes from person to person just through the bite. While inside the host the worm runs in the lymph vessels and tissues. When it matures, it causes a marked swelling of limbs of the body. People getting infected with this parasite have to undergo a year-long course of medicine as it kills the worm. Once again the traveler should search for the proper treatment.

But the better and the best option is to be careful and ‘not to get bitten’.