Prevention & Control
No vaccines or drugs to prevent infection are available. The best way for travelers to prevent infection is to protect themselves from sand fly bites. To decrease the risk of being bitten, follow these preventive measures:
Avoid outdoor activities, especially from dusk to dawn, when sand flies generally are the most active.
When outdoors (or in unprotected quarters):
- Minimize the amount of exposed (uncovered) skin. To the extent that is tolerable in the climate, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks; and tuck your shirt into your pants. (See below about wearing insecticide-treated clothing.)
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin and under the ends of sleeves and pant legs. Follow the instructions on the label of the repellent. The most effective repellents generally are those that contain the chemical DEET (N,N-diethylmetatoluamide).
- Stay in well-screened or air-conditioned areas.
- Keep in mind that sand flies are much smaller than mosquitoes and therefore can get through smaller holes.
- Spray living/sleeping areas with an insecticide to kill insects.
- If you are not sleeping in a well-screened or air-conditioned area, use a bed net and tuck it under your mattress. If possible, use a bed net that has been soaked in or sprayed with a pyrethroid-containing insecticide. The same treatment can be applied to screens, curtains, sheets, and clothing (clothing should be retreated after five washings).
More on: Insect Bite Prevention
Note: Bed nets, repellents, and insecticides should be purchased before traveling and can be found in hardware, camping, and military surplus stores. Bed nets and clothing that already have been treated with a pyrethroid-containing insecticide also are commercially available.