This was a joint podcast with our friends & colleagues at WEMCast – to hear more from them, have a look at their podcast back catalogue, and there’s more information on the World Extreme Medicine website.
Mosquito born disease
Malaria is transmitted through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. It is widely distributed throughout tropical regions of the world, within the majority of cases reported in Africa. If you would like to read more about malaria; its signs & symptoms, variants, at-risk countries and treatment, have a look at the Travel Health Pro website.
Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitos. Symptoms include high fever, muscle and joint pains, headache, nausea, vomiting and rash. It is generally a self limiting illness with improvement in symptoms and recovery occurring three to four days after the onset of the rash, although rarely can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever. Again, the Travel Health pro website has some excellent information on this.
Zica virus is spread by day-biting mosquitos. In addition a few cases of transmission by sexual contact have been reported. It is found in parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The majority of people infected with Zika virus have no symptoms. For those with symptoms, it is usually a mild and short-lived viral type illness, with conjunctivitis and muscle/join pains. However, Zika virus is a cause of Congenital Zika Syndrome (microcephaly and other congenital anomalies) and neurological complications such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Read more here.
Exertional heat illness
The UK Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine has produced a position statement on exertional heat illness, available here, and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s elearning platform also has a module on the spectrum of heat related illness.
Smith M, Withnall R & Boulter MK. An exertional heat illness triage tool for a jungle training environment. J Royal Army Medical Corps, 2018. 164, 287-289. DOI: 10.1136/jramc-2017-000801
Alele FO, Malau-Aduil BS, Malau-Aduli AEO, Crowe MJ. Epidemiology of exertional heat illness in the military: A systematic review of observational studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7037. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197037