Tropical diseases

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Protection from tropical diseases

You can contract diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever or zika, but also a worm infection or rabies. Some tropical diseases start with such minor symptoms, you won’t even realise you’re ill. Malaria, for example, starts with flu-like symptoms.

It is also possible that the disease doesn’t manifest itself immediately and that you don’t get symptoms until years later. You better take the right precautions and reduce the risk of infection, so you can enjoy a worry-free trip. It is a good idea to see your doctor when visiting tropical countries. Even if this was a while ago.

There are hospitals in the U.K. and U.S. with a special tropical department where you can go in case you’re suspecting a tropical disease and also for treatment.


Malaria is caused by parasites. These can penetrate the body through a mosquito bite. Malaria causes fever, headache, chills, excessive sweating and muscle ache. Malaria occurs in the U.K. and U.S. to a limited degree. This concerns people who contracted the disease in the (sub)tropics.


Dengue is an infectious disease that is caused by a virus. The virus occurs in (sub)tropical regions and is transmitted by mosquitoes. Dengue frequently occurs in people who have visited countries where the disease occurs.

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a tropical disease that is caused by the yellow fever virus. The virus is transmitted through the bite of tropical mosquitoes. An outbreak of this disease is always caused by the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Yellow fever only occurs in tropical regions of Africa and South America.


The zika virus is spread by the yellow fever mosquito or dengue mosquito. The disease (zika fever) is usually quite mild. Most people do not experience any symptoms at all. It has been scientifically proven that infection during pregnancy can be harmful to the unborn child.

West Nile disease

The West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and is mainly found in migrating birds, but mammals and humans can also be affected by the disease. The disease is spread by infected mosquitoes, such as the West European house mosquito and the tiger mosquito.