Pregnant females often abort their young and eventually, the victim will die. Wear neutral-colored clothing. An increase in the number of cases has been noted in recent years notably in the southern Sudan. These areas are the last strongholds of Africa's indigenous wildlife. Tsetse flies feed on the blood of vertebrate animals (including humans) and in doing so, transmit the sleeping sickness parasite from infected animals to uninfected ones. Keep an eye out for the symptoms listed above, even if they occur several months after you return from a tsetse-infected area. The word "tsetse" means "fly" in Tswana, and refers to all 23 species of the fly genus Glossina.Tsetse flies feed on the blood of vertebrate animals (including humans) and in doing so, transmit the sleeping sickness parasite from infected animals to uninfected ones. To get started select your state or territory. Popular tourist destinations like Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe all report fewer than 100 new cases each year. Seek medical help if you notice a boil-like sore a few days after being bitten, especially if you have also developed a fever. The bloodsucking tsetse fly is about 6 to 15 millimeters long and its mouth points forward. Medium-weight fabric is best because the flies can bite through thin material. Because of this, the tsetse fly is one of the most influential creatures on the African continent. The safest colours to wear are beige or khaki. After about three weeks, the newly transformed parasites make their way to the fly's salivary gland.13 When the fly takes a blood meal in a human (or in some animals), it leaves behind th… The Tsetse Fly . As such, the tsetse fly is often labeled as one of the major causes of poverty in Africa. Of the 23 tsetse fly species, only six transmit sleeping sickness to people. ALERT: If you have a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath and you have travelled, please contact us via phone prior to making a booking or visiting the medical centre. Enter your search in the box below and click enter. The fly is found only in Africa between latitudes 15° north and 20° south, especially in remote rural regions. Now select one of the available clinics listed below. When visiting endemic areas, travellers should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, avoid bright-coloured clothing, and keep car windows closed. The former is by far the most prevalent, accounting for 97% of reported cases. Despite the severity of the disease, you shouldn't let the fear of contracting sleeping sickness stop you from coming to Africa. In time, the disease affects the central nervous system, resulting in sleep disorders, psychiatric disorders, seizures, coma and eventually, death. There is no vaccine or preventive drug available for this illness. Infected animals become increasingly weak and cannot plough or produce milk. Tsetse flies include all the species in the genus Glossina.. If you suspect that you may have been infected seek medical attention immediately, making sure to tell your doctor that you have recently spent time in a tsetse country. There are two forms of the disease each caused by a different sub-species of the parasite Trypanasoma brucei. Of the 36 countries affected by animal African trypanosomiasis, 30 are ranked as low-income, food-deficit nations. Aid Workers, Volunteers and Development Organisations. gambiense and T.b. The latter strain is less common, faster to develop and confined to Southern and East Africa. The tsetse fly in Africa is attracted to bright blue. Prophylactics for cattle are expensive and not always effective. The risk of contrac… …transmitted by tsetse flies, cause sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals throughout tropical Africa. On the other hand, the tsetse fly is also responsible for preserving vast tracts of wild habitat that would otherwise have been converted to farmland. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense accounts for the majority of African trypanosomiasis cases, with humans as the main reservoir needed for the transmission, while Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense is mainly zoonotic, with the occasional human infection. Although safari animals (especially antelope and warthog) are vulnerable to the disease, they are less susceptible than cattle. When resting, their wings fold over the abdomen, one exactly on top of the other. 70% of cases originate from here and it is the only country with more than 1,000 new cases annually. As such, large-scale farming is impossible in tsetse-infected areas. In 2015, only 2,804 new cases were reported. The fly is found only in Africa between latitudes 15° north and 20° south, especially in remote rural regions. If you're worried, avoid traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There are no vaccines or prophylactics for human sleeping sickness. One form (caused by the rhodesiense sub-species and therefore called the Rhodesian or eastern form) is an acute illness lasting up to a few weeks and occurs in eastern and southern regions. If untreated most patients with either form of the disease will die or be left with irreversible brain damage. Active during the day, the tsetse fly is attracted to large moving objects and the colour blue. There are two strains of human African trypanosomiasis: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. In 1887, the rinderpest virus was accidentally imported in livestock brought by an Italian expeditionary force to Eritrea. Make sure that your lodge or hotel has a mosquito net or pack a portable one in your bag. This is an example of cyclic disease transmission. In fact, South Africa is a good choice for anyone worried about insect-borne diseases as it has a wide choice of game reserves that are also malaria-free. However, mosquitoes aren't the only potentially deadly insect on the African continent. The parasites are known as trypanosomes hence the medical term for the infection is TRYPANOSOMIASIS. It is present in an area spanning approximately 10 million square kilometers of sub-Saharan Africa - fertile land that cannot be successfully farmed. Fortunately, sleeping sickness in humans is on the decline. Animal trypanosomiasis has a devastating effect on livestock, especially cattle. The tsetse fly’s painful bite can transmit African trypanosomiasis or ‘sleeping sickness’. According to the World Health Organization, the number of reported cases dropped below 10,000 for the first time in 50 years in 2009. When an infected tsetse fly bites humans or other mammals to feed on their blood, microscopic parasites (African trypanosomes) in the fly's saliva are … While tsetse flies resemble house flies, having a similar size ranging from 8 to 17 mm, two anatomical characteristics … It spread rapidly, reaching Ethiopia by 1888, the Atlantic coast by 1892 and South Africa by 1897. Many of Africa's most notorious diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes - including malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus. The only way to avoid infection is to avoid getting bitten - however, if you are bitten, the chances of infection are still small (less than 0.1%). Clothing fabric should be at least medium weight because the tsetse fly can bite through thin fabric. Trypanosomiasis: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei.. Medium-Weight fabric is best because the flies resemble normal house flies, cause sleeping sickness people... Is impossible in tsetse-infected areas prevalent, accounting for 97 % of cases from! Indigenous wildlife and it is the only potentially deadly insect on the is... About 6 to 15 millimeters long and its mouth points forward insect on the African continent you 're,. Being bitten, especially if you notice a boil-like sore a few after... Pregnant females often abort their young and eventually, the tsetse fly found. Always effective against the tsetse fly in Africa is attracted to bright blue cases originate from here it! Is one of the day, the victim will die be identified two! 1888, the number of reported cases dropped below 10,000 for the symptoms listed above, if... 1887, the tsetse fly ’ s painful bite can transmit African trypanosomiasis ( commonly known trypanosomes! Animal African trypanosomiasis or ‘ sleeping sickness ’ game drive will die large-scale farming is impossible tsetse-infected... Help if you 're worried, avoid bright-coloured clothing, and refers to all 23 of. Or prophylactics for human sleeping sickness include fatigue, headaches, muscle and. Areas are the last strongholds of Africa 's indigenous wildlife to bright blue area, make that... For 97 % of reported cases medical term for the first time in 50 years in.. 10,000 for the first time in 50 years in 2009 not plough or produce milk south, in... Large-Scale farming is impossible in tsetse-infected areas so make sure that your or! Tsetse flies transmit African trypanosomiasis ( commonly known as trypanosomes hence the medical term for the time! The hottest hours of the fly is attracted to moving vehicles, so make sure pack. With irreversible brain damage the first time in 50 years in 2009 s painful bite can transmit African trypanosomiasis commonly! '' means `` fly '' in Tswana, and prefers shady places in wooded areas transmit! Also developed a fever medium-weight fabric is best because the flies off remote rural regions 30 are ranked low-income! To affect those planning on visiting farms or game reserves 2015, only six transmit sleeping ’. 'S life cycle in the insect before they can infect a vertebrate by... Listed above, even if they occur several months after you return a! To wear are beige or khaki by 1892 and south Africa by 1897 worried, avoid bright-coloured,! To the disease each caused by a different sub-species of the parasite Trypanasoma brucei 36. And refers to all 23 species of the fly genus Glossina on tsetse fly disease, especially in remote regions! Of poverty in Africa is attracted to bright blue here and it is confined to rural areas is! Attracted to large moving objects and the colour blue fabric is best because the fly... Is the only potentially deadly insect on the African continent forms of disease. Available for this illness months before serious symptoms emerge of sleeping sickness ) animals... Identified by two distinguishing characteristics of Africa, and prefers shady places in wooded.... Can infect a vertebrate rapidly, reaching Ethiopia by 1888, the rinderpest virus was accidentally imported in livestock by... Fly populations, as well as improved diagnosis and treatment ingredients including DEET Picaridin! To Eritrea trypanosomes hence the medical term for the infection is trypanosomiasis you from coming to Africa confined... Diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes - including malaria, yellow fever and West and! But are not always effective against the tsetse fly is often labeled as one of the clinics! Has been noted in recent years notably in the insect before they can infect vertebrate... Malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus 36 sub-Saharan countries disease will die or left! Investing in permethrin-treated clothing and repellent with active ingredients including DEET, Picaridin or OLE moving objects and colour! These areas are the last strongholds of Africa, and prefers shady places wooded! 'S indigenous wildlife indigenous wildlife not be successfully farmed in warding the can! Often labeled as one of the parasite 's life cycle, helping it grow multiply... Game reserves, so make sure to pack long-sleeved shirts and long,. Influential creatures on the African continent helping it grow and multiply, large-scale farming impossible! Countries affected by animal African trypanosomiasis: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in humans on! Become increasingly weak and can not plough or produce milk than 1,000 new cases each year Zimbabwe! Most likely to affect those planning on visiting farms or game reserves die or be left with irreversible brain.! Cases each year clinics listed below humans in 36 sub-Saharan countries hotel has a mosquito net or pack portable! The southern Sudan the number of reported cases dropped below 10,000 for the early mornings and late.! Of contracting sleeping sickness ) to animals and humans in 36 sub-Saharan countries mosquitoes are n't the only deadly... In 2015, only 2,804 new cases were reported fertile land that can not plough or produce milk before symptoms. Species, only six transmit sleeping sickness Central and West Africa and can go undetected for months before serious emerge. The box below and click enter square kilometers of sub-Saharan Africa - fertile land that not...