One of the most frequently asked questions around an African safari campfire. And considering the variety of big game in the bush … elephant, lion, crocodiles and more … the prevalence of walking trails and adrenalin activities such as white water rafting or shark dives, there is an element of curiosity that one of the continent’s smallest creatures creates such consistent feelings of apprehension.
By the way, you can’t get AIDS from a mosquito bite. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquitoes do not inject blood when they bite. As a result, mosquitoes do not transmit the virus.
When one is bitten by a mosquito, the insect actually does not inject blood, but only a lubricating anti-coagulant. This is what creates the irritating post-bite itch that can torment safari travelers, resulting in the customary well stocked first aid bag filled with a variety of creams and sprays. Although malaria may be transmitted by an infected mosquito, the HIV virus does not survive in insect saliva.
Should a mosquito, once it has bitten, move to another person, they may indeed carry a tiny amount of residual blood on their mouthparts. However, any blood is exposed to the virus-unfriendly outside air, rendering any likelihood of the HIV virus surviving in this medium physically impossible.
Wherever appropriate, we always encourage our clients to commence with a correct course of malarial prophylaxis before travel, to ‘cream or spray-up’ in the evenings, to make use of mosquito nets wherever possible, and to generally make yourselves as unpalatable as possible to mosquito bites.
Please contact us for more information and personalized advice if you feel the slightest bit unsure of any medical issues in this regard.
Once that’s done, relax, kick back and enjoy your safari!