The Dangerous Tse-tse Fly

the most dangerous fly is the tse-tse fly causing sleeping sickness
Photo Credit: bbc.com
Often regarded as the world’s most dangerous fly, the tsetse fly—a small speck of insect that measures between 8 to 17 mm, or about the same size as the average house fly—is commonly found in sub-Saharan countries, especially those in the center of the continent including the Sudans, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola. While the flies themselves are nasty bloodsucking bugs that usually feed during the peak warm hours, their true terror lies in the protozoan parasites they spread known as Trypanosomes.

the most dangerous fly is the tse-tse fly causing sleeping sickness
Photo Credit: fieldandstream.com



These microscopic pathogens are the causative agent of African Sleeping Sickness, a disease marked by neurological and meningoencephalitic symptoms including behavioral changes, poor coordination, as well as the disturbances in sleeping cycles that give the illness its name. It can cause death if left untreated. While there are no vaccines or medications available to prevent infection, methods of protection include wearing neutral-colored clothing (the tsetse fly is attracted to bright and dark colors, especially blue), avoiding bushes during the day, and using permethrin-treated gear in more remote areas.


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