Many diseases are transmitted by insects mainly mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and lice. Beware of insects in wet or forested areas, especially while hiking and camping. Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Wear long pants and long sleeves, tuck your pants into your socks, and buy a mosquito net. Ticks responsible for Lyme disease can be particularly dangerous in rural and forested regions. Pause periodically while walking to brush off ticks using a fine-toothed comb on your neck and scalp. Do not try to remove ticks by burning them or coating them with nail polish remover or petroleum jelly.
Malaria is a risk in Southeastern Anatolia, transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes that bite at night. Early symptoms include fever, chills, aches, and fatigue, followed by high fever and sweating, sometimes with vomiting and diarrhea. See a doctor for any flu-like sickness that occurs after travel in a risk area. Left untreated, malaria can cause anemia, kidney failure, coma, and death. It is an especially serious threat to pregnant women. To reduce the risk of contracting malaria, use mosquito repellent, particularly in the evenings and when visiting forested areas, and take prescription oral prophylactics, like chroloquine (sold under the name Aralen) or doxycycline. Be aware that these drugs can have very serious side effects, including slowed heart rate and nightmares. Tick-borne encephalitis: A viral infection of the central nervous system transmitted during the summer by tick bites (primarily in wooded areas) or by consumption of unpasteurized dairy products. Symptoms range from nothing to headaches and flu-like symptoms to swelling of the brain (encephalitis). While a vaccine is available In Europe, the Immunization schedule is impractical, and the risk of contracting the disease is relatively low, especially if precautions are taken against tick bites.
A bacterial infection carried by ticks and marked by a circular bull’s-eye rash of 2in. or more. Later symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and aches and pains. Antibiotics are effective if administered early. Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause problems in joints, the heart, and the nervous system. If you find a tick attached to your skin, grasp the head with tweezers as close to your skin as possible and apply slow, steady traction. Removing a tick within 24hr. greatly reduces the risk of infection. Leishmaniasis: A parasite transmitted by sand flies. Cutaneous leishmaniasis, characterized by skin lesions including sores, ulcers, and wart-like bumps, occurs in southeastern Turkey and in the Tigris-Euphrates basin. Visceral leishmaniasis (kala azar), found along the Aegean, Mediterranean, Sea of Marmara, and Black Sea coasts, affects the internal organs and bone marrow, and common symptoms are fever, weakness, and swelling of the spleen. There are treatments, but no vaccines, for both forms of the disease.
A roundworm infestation transmitted by mosquitoes. Infection causes enlargement of extremities. No vaccine.