Are people still worried about tropical diseases when traveling? The answers vary. However, there are plenty of tropical diseases out there. Depending on the type, duration and region of travel, the likelihood of contracting it varies. Therefore, it is obvious that a long-term backpacker is generally exposed to different sources of infection during their trip than a package traveler. For a given risk of infection, the continent, climatic region, geography and ecology of the country visited are important. Some countries do require certain vaccines for entry. This may include shots for yellow fever, malaria, etc. You may additionally want to read about it neglected tropical diseases. Let’s have a look at some of the most common types.
Malaria is a dangerous infectious disease caused to humans by diverse types of protozoa. Therefore it occurs in diverse forms:
- Malaria tropica is the most dangerous form of malaria and is caused by the pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria tropica is the most common travel-related sickness in Sub-Saharan Africa and the most common reason behind death amongst people returning to the tropics.
- Tertian malaria is characterised – without proper treatment – by repeated relapses. It is triggered by the liver form of the vivax/ovale pathogen.
- Malaria quartana is comparatively harmless and is caused by malariae.
- Malaria quotidiana, which is similar to Malaria tropica, is just found in certain areas of Southeast Asia. These symptoms are very uncharacteristic, but often present as a fever. This may additionally include illness, diarrhea and jaundice.
Like the malaria pathogen, leishmaniasis is a protozoan and lives in the cells of humans and other mammals such as dogs and rodents. They are also found outside of cells as spindle-shaped pathogens in the digestive tract of varied sand mosquitoes or butterflies. Most generally, the disease is transmitted through the bites of these tiny mosquitoes.
Leishmaniasis occurs in diverse regions, including the Mediterranean region. In the past ten years, the sand fly pathogen has spread to Central Europe. Depending on the type of leishmania, the pathogen can cause disease of the skin, mucous membranes, or internal organs. The condition of the infected person’s immune system determines the type and severity of the disease.
Tropical viral disease – ARBOvirus
Whether in Africa or Asia, America or Oceania – the tropics are home to numerous viruses. Many have spread to Europe in recent decades. The most vital and largest group are viruses that are transmitted by “arthropods” (these are arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks). They are called “ARBO virus(ARBO = “birth of the arthropods”). Most infections normally go unnoticed or as a soft sickness, where the incubation period is at all times between a few days and a maximum of three weeks. The duration of the disease varies. Infection with several viruses at the same time is feasible.
Transmission and Spread Like Rickettsioses, a group of exotic and indigenous diseases called differently, multiply in the bacterial cells of humans and animals. Species relevant to travel medication are transmitted by ticks or mites, hence the name tick-bite fever or smallpox rickettsiae. Well-known representatives are also typhus, which has become rare these days, and Q fever, which is transmitted to humans worldwide and is transmitted by air.