Protect yourself against stings and bites
Against insect bites
The risk of diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, zika virus and yellow fever can be reduced if mosquito bites are avoided. Find out about the occurrence at your destination of these and other diseases that may be transmitted by mosquitoes.
Observe the following recommendations:
- Try to stay in places that have protection screens on doors and windows, in areas of greater risk. Or take the mosquito nets/curtain.
- In ecotour trips, use clothes that protect the body against insect bites and ticks, like shirts with long sleeves, pants (trousers, if you are British) and closed shoes.
- Apply insect repellent on exposed areas of the skin, following the guidelines of the manufacturer.
- In children below the age of two, the use of mosquito repellent is not recommended without medical orientation.
Against bites or other types of accidents with animals
In the event of accidental contact, bite, lick or scratch by mammals (dog, cat, bat, or any other wild animal), wash the affected site with soap and water and seek medical care immediately.
If you have accidents with poisonous animals (scorpions, snakes, spiders, bees and caterpillars), do not use homemade remedies and go immediately to the local public health service. During the assistance, try to move as little as possible. The member affected should be placed in a higher position in relation to the body and the location of the bite may only be washed with soap and water.
In cases of accidents with jellyfish and man o' war, first, to relieve initial pain use cold compresses (closed ice packs - "cold packs" - wrapped in cloths, or cool seawater, if available). Then, wash the lesion site with acetic acid at 5% (e.g. vinegar), without rubbing the affected region, and then apply a wad of this product for about 10 minutes, to avoid the increase of poisoning. It is important not to use drinking water to wash the lesion and/or to apply cold wads, because it will only make it worse. The removal of the tentacles stuck to the skin must be done cautiously, preferably with the use of forceps or a blade. You should seek medical advice for a clinical evaluation of the poisoning and, if necessary, conduct supplementary treatment.
Avoid direct contact with live or dead animals, and, above all, do not manipulate these animals, no matter how harmless they may seem.
Do not walk barefoot in areas of jungles or plantations. Preferably, use pants (or trousers, if you are British) and long boots or boots with gaiters (which protect up to the knee).
In the specific case of spiders and scorpions, visually inspect clothes and footwear before wearing them and towels or covers before you use them.
While trekking or on ecological walks, examine carefully the places where you need support (trees, rocks).
Be careful with bees and wasps. They are attracted by sounds, smells and colors, like noises from gardening tools and vessel engines.
Do not put your hand into holes and burrows.