Insect Bites Stings

Mosquitoes are found inmost parts of Europe; they may not carry malaria but can cause irritation and infected bites. Use a DEET-based insect repellent.

Bees and wasps cause real problems only to those with a severe allergy (anaphylaxis). If you have a severe allergy to bee or wasp stings carry an 'epipen' or similar adrenaline injection.

Sandflies are found around Mediterranean beaches. They usually cause only a nasty, itchy bite but can carry a rare skin disorder called cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

Water

Malta's tap water is safe to drink but heavily chlorinated, so stick to the bottled variety if you don't like the taste. Any water in the countryside, whether from a stream or spring, is best left alone.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN

If you are travelling with children you should know how to treat minor ailments and when to seek medical treatment. Make sure children are up-to-date with routine vaccinations, and discuss possible travel vaccines well before departure, as some vaccines are not suitable for children under a year.

In hot moist climates any wound or break in the skin is likely to let in infection. The area should be cleaned and kept dry. If your child has vomiting or diarrhoea, lost fluid and salts must be replaced. It may be helpful to take rehydration powders for reconstituting with boiled water.

WOMEN'S HEALTH

Emotional stress, exhaustion and travelling across time zones can all contribute to an upset in the menstrual pattern. Some antibiotics, diarrhoea and vomiting can interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and lead to the risk of pregnancy - remember to take condoms just in case. Time zones, gastrointestinal upsets and antibiotics do not affect injectable contraception.

Travelling during pregnancy is usually possible, but always consult your doctor before planning your trip. The most risky times for travel are during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and after 30 weeks.

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