Sunday, August 20, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travelers to tropical locations should take steps to prevent bug bites. Mosquitos, fleas and ticks spread diseases including Zika, malaria, plague, and spotted fever.

Here are some tips to ensure the only thing you bring back from your vacation is a souvenir!

  • Wear an insect repellent with at least 20 percent DEET to protect against mosquito and tick bites.
  • Wear long pants and sleeves when possible.
  • Sleep under a bed net if your sleeping area is exposed to the outdoors.
  • Sleep in places that our air-conditioned or screened in against bugs.

Since the proper application of bug stray is important, follow these recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  • Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). Do not apply repellents under your clothing.
  • Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using repellent sprays, do not spray directly on your face—spray on your hands first and then apply to your face.
  • Do not allow children to handle or spray the product. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Heavy application does not give you better or longer lasting protection.
  • If applying with sunscreen apply sunscreen first and let dry then apply repellent.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days.
  • If you (or your child) get a rash or other reaction from a repellent, stop using the repellent, wash the repellent off with mild soap and water, and call a local poison control center for further guidance. If you go to a doctor, it might be helpful to take the repellent with you.

If you get sick after traveling, see a doctor. Always tell the doctor where you have traveled. Norman Regional has a team of primary care physician and clinicians to treat your health and wellness needs. If you need a referral, please call (405) 307-3177 to be matched with a provider!