tsetse flies

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Jul 30th, 2005, 06:16 PM
  #1
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tsetse flies

our zambian safari is booked and paid for, counting the days (80), getting the vaccinations and malarone next week, practiced packing, collecting new $1's and $5's, working with the new camera, reading all there is to read and came across tsetse fly bites on a website. said 55,000 people die a year from the parasite (thats about 2 X the population of the island i live on). Kind of scary, well really scary if you think about it. i have dreams of getting trampled by an elephant, mauled by a lion, gored by a hippo and eaten by a hyena, but really don't want to die from a fly bite! I know not to wear dark colors etc. but wonder if anyone here or knows of anyone who has gotten this disease? as you can tell, this will be my first trip to Africa!
matnikstym is offline  
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Jul 31st, 2005, 09:16 AM
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I too fretted a lot about flies and other insects before our trip. We packed carefully and didn't wear any of the supposedly bad colors (eg., blue).

Well, we didn't see a single fly. One of the guys in our truck had a jacket the exact color of the fly trap and we didn't encounter anything. The mosquitoes were no worse than places in the US (though we did take the malarone religiously).

So, don't worry, just go and have a fabulous time!
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Jul 31st, 2005, 09:22 AM
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I have been bitten hundreds if not thousands of times, no problem except it hurts like hell and you never get used to it-the price you pay for going to out of the way places. The important thing is to stay out of areas that the flys are known to carry sleeping sickness. And you won't be going to those places anyway. Most likely you won't even see a tsetse fly.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 10:09 AM
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According to 1 website I read, in the years 200-2003 only 1 British citizen was treated for the disease. Considering how many Brits go to Africa, the chances of getting sleeping sickness is lower than winning the lottery. Go and have fun, no worries about the fly!
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Jul 31st, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Yes, and the CDC reports that it gets on average, only one report of sleeping sickness per year. since the CDC gets reports from overseas too, that 1 brit is probably in the CDC numbers.

In addition, there has been no reports of sleeping sickness from Zambia in years, many years. Be more worried (much more worried) about an auto accident on the way to the airport.

AND sleeping sickness is treatable with antibiotics. The deaths are only from populations that have not access to healthcare.

Sleeping sickness is the least of your worries...now those tsetse fly bites are nasty but disease is not the worry.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 08:09 PM
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Just returned from Zambia where I was bitten many times by the good ole tse tse. It does hurt! I was a little freaked out by this but in each camp they all said no one has had the sleeping sickness, except one guy who really lived out in the bush for years and he did get it and was very ill for awhile, but as tashak says, it is treatable and he now owns Sausage Tree Camp and is in the best of health! It was worst during the hot hours. It helped to bring something to flick at the flies. They tend to bite in the vehicle down where your shins/ankles are for some reason. After the first couple of bites I stoppped worrying about it. Don't let it spoil your trip.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 02:55 AM
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I haven't read of that many people being bothered by tsetse flies. I have read that the avon skin so soft really does help with the tsetse flies (and not mossies) and that sulphur keeps them away.
sundowner is online now  
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 09:24 PM
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Tsetse fly populations vary by areas. They seem to be a bigger problem in Zambia than in Botswana for example...and the incidence in Bots varies by area too. But thanks to the tsetse fly, the Okavango and the Luangwa Valley environments were not destroyed by cattle. So we should thank them every time we slap...

Do people apply the sulfur to their skin? I've never heard of this, and would be willing to try anything!
Maybe the skin-so-soft will hide the smell of the sulfur?
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