If you’re planning a cruise to locations where disease-spreading insects thrive, a few prevention measures will help you enjoy a healthy vacation. In most cases, you won’t be troubled by mosquitoes, ticks and other harmful insects while onboard. However, when you come ashore in certain locations in the Caribbean and Central America you risk exposure to mosquitoes that cause dengue fever and chikungunya virus. Both of these diseases can cause headaches, joint pain and high fever – symptoms that can last around a week – long enough to ruin your cruise.
Zika Virus Risk in many Popular Cruise Locations
The mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread to more than 45 countries, including many popular resort destinations in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and some Pacific Islands. Zika is carried by infected mosquitoes of the Aedes species, the same culprit that causes dengue fever and chikungunya virus. Although Zika symptoms are usually mild, the disease has been linked to severe birth defects in babies born to women infected during pregnancy.
For updated Zika virus travel alerts issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visit:
Insect Bite Prevention Tips for Cruises
Following are insect bite prevention measures recommended by the CDC:
- Use an EPA-approved insect repellent that contains at least 20-percent DEET.
- Cover exposed skin. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck your shirts into your pants, and the bottom of your pants into your socks.
- Stay in air conditioned areas as much as possible.
- Make sure your accommodations have good door and window screens to keep insects out.
Bring along our Bite Helper™ in case you are bitten by mosquitoes, ticks, wasps, bees, ants or flies. Bite Helper™ relieves the itch and irritation caused by insect stings and bites.