Tropical Infectious Diseases

Tropical infections are diseases that are predominant in or sole to tropical and subtropical regions. The contaminations are fewer predominant in temperate climates, due in part to the occurrence of a cold season, which controls the insect population by forcing hibernation. However, several were existing in northern Europe and northern America in the 17th and 18th centuries before modern understanding of disease causation. The initial impetus for tropical medicine was to defend the health of colonial settlers, notably in India under the British Raj. Insects such as mosquitoes and flies are by far the most common disease transporter, or vector. These insects may transmit a parasite, bacterium or virus that is infectious to humans and animals. Most often disease is communicated by an insect "bite", which grounds transmission of the infectious agent through subcutaneous blood exchange. Vaccines are not available for most of the diseases enumerated here, and many do not have cures. Human investigation of tropical rainforests, deforestation, rising immigration and increased international air travel and other tourism to tropical regions has led to an increased incidence of such diseases to non-tropical countries.


  • Malaria
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Leprosy
  • Gonorrhea

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