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Heads up - beware of insect bites

Fairfield...
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192 posts
115 reviews
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Heads up - beware of insect bites
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I’ve been home from Uganda for 9 days. I got bit on the stomach two weeks ago by what I thought was a mosquito, and the bites got bigger and painful. My doctor prescribed antibiotics but never saw me in person. I finally was able to see a doctor yesterday, and was surprised (and disgusted) when he removed two larvae. Oh my gosh – so gross!

It’s something to keep in mind … hopefully it doesn’t happen to others often. Other than the ‘souvenir’ I brought home with me, this was an amazing trip in a beautiful country. More info on the creatures:

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/myiasis/faqs.html

7 replies to this topic
Kampala, Uganda
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108 posts
1. Re: Heads up - beware of insect bites
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It’s good to know you got well after that big incident.

Actually bugs that lay eggs on or under the human skin are found in virtually every country in the world. That is why it’s advisable to have an insect repellent whenever you travel especially if you have to go to the outdoors.

Vincent | Kwezi Outdoors

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Uganda
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2. Re: Heads up - beware of insect bites
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Ah Pinders- welcome to the world of exotic souvenirs! As Vincent says, these things can and do happen all over the world, but still not at at all pleasant! Sand jiggers are reasonably common on the Indian Ocean coastline and other flies are often picked up from drying clothes on the ground. Fortunately it's not something that travellers come across too frequently, but the grimly fascinating medical chapter in guidebooks does occasionally have its uses!

Alexandra- Extraordinary Africa

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Heads up - beware of insect bites
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Welcome to the wonderful world of the Putsi fly. Fairly revolting but thankfully not infectious.

I would guess that at some stage you have worn or slept in clothes/sheets that have been washed and then hung out to dry, perhaps by draping over a bush/tree in the lodge grounds but they will come for a washing line too? OK so far BUT they have not been ironed or thoroughly dried before wearing/re use.

As Alexandra says the "Bugs Bowels etc.," chapters in guide books are really entertaining reading on a long flight. Chapter 5, pge 113 in the Bradt Guide to Uganda.

Fairfield...
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4. Re: Heads up - beware of insect bites
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Ewwww!

Thanks for your comments on the fly situation. My friend did laundry nearly every day. She's lucky she didn't pick up any strays. My doctor advised me to wash everything I brought with me in hot water and to dry and iron them. Ironing wasn't an option on holiday since we primarily had solar at our lodges. We were pretty diligent about applying insect repellent, but obviously not enough :-)

Sheffield, United...
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5. Re: Heads up - beware of insect bites
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an occupational hazard of travel I am afraid and not just Uganda but anywhere in the tropics

I am surprised that your doctor did not see you in person even in Covid times as normally if they know you have been in "exotic" places they will give you one of their emergency slots

I can assure you I have never ironed anything on my travels in Africa or washed my clothes in hot water nor used insect repellent and have been well off the beaten track and to date not suffered (yes I take anti malarials and have had the YF jab)

Fort Portal, Uganda
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6. Re: Heads up - beware of insect bites
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Thats a mango fly sure.

Its a common fly in the tropical moist rain forests.

Kibale at Kanyanchu and Kanyawara lower camp cottages. They are frequent in wet season.

You have to avoid putting on un ironed clothes . And or always sun dry your clothes under mosquito net .

Kampala, Uganda
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7. Re: Heads up - beware of insect bites
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Very sorry to hear about the 'trafficking of larvae' back home. These kind of incidents are extremely rare.

Flies lay eggs on damp clothes or mattresses. Generally, tourists bring enough clothes with them for the whole trip so they don't need to get anything washed or dried. If you are staying in a lodge, ask them to do the washing for you because they will have the right procedures in place to dry / iron clothes without you picking up any mango fly larvae.

Even if you live in Uganda, you are unlikely to be affected by mango flies; it's a rare occurrence and seasonal.

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