Tuesday, 27 May 2014

MOSQUITOES OR SANDFLIES, WHICH IS WORSE?

Hello everyone, 

I'm back again with health TIPS TUESDAYS! I'm sure you've missed it, I did too. Today, I'm going to tell you something I learnt from personal experience and a bit of research for the sake of confirmation. No use giving you wrong info in the name of writing a post. Or don't you think so? Remember in primary school when you are asked to match items? For example, Cup is to water and plate is to food. Anyway, in this particular case, "malaria is to mosquito as leishmaniasis is to sandfly". From medical school, I already knew this, but I never knew about the itching. As they say, "experience is the best teacher".

Sandfly
This story is particularly funny because a day before, I had bragged (Naija go say I don make mouth finish) about being freed of insects bites (my hometown is particularly infested with mosquitoes that bite) to my elder brother. It was the day after my traditional marriage ceremony, and we went back to drop my sister at my father's house. (As with the Igbo tradition, the wife follows her husband home immediately after the wedding, but she usually goes with a few friends or sisters so they'll meet the relatives of her husband and know where he's from. In my case, it was my sister.) So, we were now back at home, to return her, and my brother was saying something like "hurry up and go to your husband's house." My reply was "gladly, afterall there are no mosquitoes there." My sister supported me vehemently.

Mosquito
The next day, I woke up feeling refreshed and decided to help do the dishes with the little girl in the house. That was when I noticed it,..... an itch on one hand, then the other, then my legs. I retied my wrapper to my ankles to deter them. (that didn't work for my hands as I was still using them.) Before, I could say Jack!, I was itching all over. My arms and hands had already turned red. Now, I have to say those things are evil and partial. The didn't even sting the young girl rinsing the dishes next to me. (I had to ask her to be sure, cos she was too relaxed and even laughing, while, I was going gaga!). I'm a die-hard so I stayed and kept washing the plates. By the time the last of the plates were washed, apart from the pots and pans, I was running out of that vicinity and looking for a solution to the itching. My mother in-law gave me a solution very much like dettol to apply, after which I took a hot bath and the itching stopped, even the swellings went down. They said maybe the flies were welcoming me. Lol.

My skin was a darker version of this after the bites
Now, to my eye-opening experience. That day we left the village to Abuja. The moment we entered the house, I started itching again. I accused the poor husband of not fumigating the place, now mosquitoes were biting me. He immediately did that, while we went out to wile-away the time. When we came back home, the itching started again, this time, I decided all the mosquitoes didn't died off, so in their anger at been executed, they
were biting me with their last breath. (At this point, I wasn't thinking straight, and all my medical knowledge had fled from my brain). The poor man advised me to take some antihistamines, (he's a doctor too). I didn't reply him but in my mind, I was like "antihistamines for mosquito bite ke? Ha! that's an ajebo move oh!" Little did I know.

The next day was the beginning of the preparations for phase 2. I was itching in the car, parish office, husband's workplace, shops and that was when it dawned on me, that it was the same area every time. A look at my arms revealed the same swollen red spots as the day before. Did I mention I have major allergy issues? Still it didn't click until that moment. When I got home that evening, I didn't only take the antihistamines, I took double dose + prednisolone and took a hot bath. (Like I said earlier, the medicine flew out of brain, I'm guessing through my ears. Lol.) Anyway, I took the antihistamines at the normal dose and stopped the prednisolone for the next 3 days and it stopped. My brother had a filled day laughing his a** off. (I'll never hear the end of this)

What I learnt

  • Sandflies bite more at dawn and dusk.
  • Best prevention is either to avoid coming out at those periods or cover up properly if you do so.
  • Hot water baths help to neutralize the toxins deposited in the skin during the bites
  • Some people are immune to the bites. (probably why the young lady didn't feel a thing.)
  • Some say a particular color may attract the flies to you. It is believed that darker colors attract them more than lighter shades. ( I don't know if I should believe this because, that day, I was on a red shirt while she was on black)
  • Antihistamines help a lot!
  • Sandflies are worse than mosquitoes! Gbam!
  • Never, ever brag about something you are unsure off.
Finally, when you hear an area is infested with sandflies, RUN! because you won't see them. They are tiny bastards, which got them the name "no-see-ums".

Cheers......

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