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Vector-borne diseases (mosquitoes and other insects)

Various insects and other vectors may carry numerous serious infectious diseases: malaria, viral hemorrhagic fevers (yellow fever, dengue fever) Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya, filariasis, leishmaniasis, Trypanosomiasis – sleeping sickness .

The causal agent is transmitted by insect bites from the infected person into the body of the healthy person. Insects live in humid areas with vigorous vegetation and stagnant water. Different insects are active at different parts of the day (during the day, at night), but mostly in the morning and in the evening.


Insect-borne diseases can be avoided if we prevent insects from coming in contact with our skin. The prevention of malaria and yellow fever also includes tablets and vaccination respectively.

Prevention against insect bites

  • Outdoors:

Limit your stay in insect-infested areas. Remove or cover wet surfaces around your accommodation, use protection devices against insects.

  • Indoors:

Prevent insects access indoors (bedroom, lounge) by screening or closing the windows and doors and using protection devices against insects (insecticides, sprays, anti-insect spirals etc). If this is not possible, sleep under a bed net. If it is impregnated with insecticides (e.g. permethrin), protection is even more effective.
Air-conditioning also effectively keeps insects outdoors.


  • Personal means of protection: 
  1. CLOTHES: wear bright-coloured clothes, which cover most of your body (insects are more visible against bright colours, which makes us more attentive), wear high shoes rather than sandals. Clothes impregnated with permethrin enhance protection against insect bites.
  2. REPELLENT: a substance which discourages insects but doesn’t kill them. Apply the repellent containing 30 to 50 % DEET (N,N-diethylmetatoluamide, N,N-dietil-3-metilbenzamid) directly to the skin. When using repellent and sun screen protection simultaneously, use the sunscreen first and than the repellent.
    The repellents containing 30-50% DEET is suitable for children older than 9 months, pregnant women and adults.
    The pre-prepared combinations of repellent and sunscreen are usually less effective. Repellents which do not contain DEET offer less protection: Picaridine (7-15%), PMD (p-menthane-3,8-diol - oil of lemon eucalyptus), citronella, IR 3535,  and citronella oil. Apply the repellent as directed on the label, especially when applying it to children. Apply it only to exposed parts of the skin and not under your clothes. When returning indoors, cleanse the skin with soap and water. 

    Do not allow small children (up to 10 years of age) to apply the product by themselves. An adult should apply the product and be careful not to apply it to their hands, as they can put them into their mouths.

  3. INSECTICIDE spray (permethrin, deltamethrin) for clothes and nets discourages insects from landing on the surface.
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Slovensko zdravniško društvo
Sekcija za preventivno medicino
Dunajska 162
1000 Ljubljana


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