Student Asking


Feb 10th, 2000, 06:13 PM
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Student Asking

Hello! I am planning on going to Botswana with the Experiment in International living this summer for five weeks. We will be traveling to the Okavanga Delta, Mokolodi Reserve,and paddling the Chobe River. I have some concerns about health issues, and am wondering what vaccinations I should get before I go. Also, we will be camping, and living in a rural home for almost two weeks, and I was wondering if there is anything in particular that i should take. I have read about diseases being transfered while you are sleeping through the tsetse fly, and was wondering how to avoid that.... Thank you for your time and help, I hope it will be comforting advice.
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Feb 11th, 2000, 03:26 AM
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Botswana is a dry country with a very healthy climate. No inoculations are required, but you should of course take anti-malaria pills and take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, such as wearing suitable clothing in the evening, applying insect repellent diligently, etc. Check with a medical practitioner regarding the need to obtain a tetanus booster shot and typhoid & hepatitis vaccine and make sure that you are current on your polio vaccination.

Tsetse flies can be a nuisance in parts of the Okavango Delta, and they inflict a nasty bite, somewhat like a large horsefly. There is some scientific evidence that they are attracted to black and dark blue colors (the color of the flag-like tsetse fly traps which you see all over the Delta) so leave your favorite dark navy blue sweater at home... They feed in the day-time, not at night. I have found that 100% DEET will ward them off, but using such a strong repellent carries its own inherent risks. As far as contracting sleeping sickness (which is spread by the tsetse fly) it is comforting to note that there has not been a reported case in Botswana in something like 15 years. There are effective drugs for treating the disease.
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