Diseases and vacations, 7 out of 10 Italians fear insects from the most exotic countries
We start thinking about vacations, but how’s the relationship between diseases and vacations?
With the arrival of warm weather, Italians are starting to think about summer vacations and fantasize with friends and partners about the destinations to choose.
More and more people are choosing faraway and exotic countries, often moved by the spirit of adventure that drives them to explore new worlds and cultures. Places that mix history and unspoiled nature, and hence the thought of disease and vacations.
And if very often the Italian traveler is ready to deal with the most common and typical ailments of overseas vacations – gastroenteritis and food poisoning in primis – not so much when it comes to the insect threat.
7 in 10 Italians are concerned about 'close encounters' with insects during the vacations
According to asurvey[i] conducted by Doxa for Rentokil, world leader in pest control and rodent control services, 7 out of 10 Italians are concerned about 'close encounters' with insects creating a correlation between illnesses and vacations. I32% of respondents reported a very high level of concern, a figure that adds up to 38% who say they are fairly concerned.
A perhaps unsurprising finding is that women are more sensitive and anxious about this issue (72%), but what is surprising is that men too are by no means immune to 'bug' anxiety: 67% in fact fear running into insects of unknown species.
Interesting data also emerge from the analysis of age groups: the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups show concern, but in line with the national average, while the more mature 45-54 and 55-70 age groups are slightly above average – showing a level of concern that reaches 73% and 74% respectively. In contrast, Italians among the 35 and 44 years are the least concerned (61%) compared to other age groups.
Justified or unfounded fears?
Regarding the relationship between diseases and vacations much depends on the destinations chosen.
The risks associated with the possibility of insect bites or stings is always present, particularly from species that are vectors of even serious diseases as in the case of certain types of mosquitoes or bedbugs that can cause diseases such as Yellow Fever, the Dengue fever and the Chagas disease, in addition to the better-known Zika virus.
According to the World Health Organization, are estimated to be among the 50 and 100 million infections per year for the only Dengue Fever; among them, most of the cases found suffered from mild ailments, while about the 5% developed a serious illness with sudden fever.
Before setting out on a trip, it is important to know the characteristics of the country
Therefore, before traveling, it is important to know the characteristics of the host country and contact your doctor for the possible vaccinations to be performed to avoid diseases and vacations.
In fact, vaccination against the Yellow fever is mandatory for entry into some countries, while some vaccinations are recommended by the WHO for specific protection and still others are recommended in special situations or for certain categories of travelers.
Yellow Fever virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of mosquitoes belonging to the gender Aedes (the same kind of mosquitoes that transmit Dengue to humans). Moreover, not everyone knows that mosquitoes belonging to the genus Aedes, unlike the Anopheles (which transmit malaria), sting in daylight hours.
Ester Papa, Technical Manager of Rentokil Italy
"Awareness of the danger of some particular pests is still lacking, while the feeling of aversion is alive and often prevails only because of the annoyance they can cause. For this reason, there is a tendency to underestimate the risks from contact with insects in particular vacation spots" – explains
Ester Papa, Technical Manager of Rentokil Italy. "Some species, however, carry even serious diseases, especially mosquitoes.
Therefore, it is crucial to consider behaviors and solutions that can minimize the risk of stinging for example making sure to always carry suitable repellents, dress appropriately with long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and sleep with a mosquito net covering the bed, especially in hot areas and
as humid as Southeast Asia.
In addition, when traveling, there is also the risk of 'importing' unwanted guests when returning to Italy.
Therefore, it is important to always remember to be careful where you place backpacks and suitcases to avoid, for example, bringing home insects such as bed bugs.".
Leave nothing to chance
In general, when planning a trip to an exotic country, it is very important not to leave anything to chance so as not to be taken by surprise.
Therefore, the first step is to get properly informed to prevent major risks and follow prophylaxis and vaccinations that may be recommended by health authorities.
[i] Italians and pests, Demographic survey conducted by Doxa for Rentokil through 1.005 online interviews of a nationally representative sample of the Italian adult population aged 18-70 years old. Interviews were conducted from May 11 to 14, 2018.