Travel Tips Thursday: Just back from...East Timor

19.05.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Just back from…East Timor

Our travel clinic nurse Anna has been travelling in East Timor, the  South East Asian nation inhabiting half of the island of Timor, which became independent from Indonesia in 2002. Here, Anna shares with us her top travel health tips from the area.

Exploring East Timor

East Timor is ringed with rugged beaches and pristine coral reefs. It is one of the most exciting places to dive in the world.

Battling the bugs

In terms of insect borne diseases, Timor Leste has them all. It has a high risk of dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and malaria.

Whilst vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis can be sought prior to travel, and malaria prophylaxis can be used, it is still essential to avoid getting bitten in the first place.

  •   Take plenty on insect repellent that contains at least 50% DEET.  This can be hard to come by in country so stock up before you go. Ensure it is applied both day and night time, but especially during dawn and dusk. The sunrise and sunsets are beautiful in East Timor, but it does tend to be the highest period for mosquitoes.
  •  Take long trousers and a long sleeve tops to wear at dawn and dusk, especially if sitting outside in the morning and early evenings when mosquito activity is at its highest.
  • Take a mosquito net. The majority of accommodation on the coastal areas is basic, thatched huts and windows with shutters, meaning mosquitos have a free passage from the outside into your sleeping quarters. Make sure the the net is treated with permethrin, kept down over your bed to avoid unwanted mosquitoes invading your bed space.
  • Plug in vaporisers can be useful to use to prevent mosquitoes entering your room. Unfortunately, many areas in Timor do not have access to continuous electricity, making electrical vaporisers rather ineffective. Instead use mosquito coils which can be burned like an incense stick to provide up to 10 hours of mosquito relief.
  •  After-bite cream. Even with the best of intentions, people can still be bitten. Taking a steroid based bite cream will help to reduce the itch and inflammation associated with any mosquito bites you many encounter.

To help keep mosquitos at bay, you can purchase our Ultimate Bug Kit online.

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By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | May 2018