Bugging The New Survivors

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Contestants of all three past Survivors have had to face some difficult situations. Food was certainly a concern, but the true danger always has been the predators that inhabit these exotic locales. National Correspondent Jon Frankel reports for The Early Show.

Poisonous snakes were the threat on the original Survivor. In Australia, it was the crocodile and in Africa, contestants shared a savannah with some of the most dangerous animals on the planet.

But in the latest Survivor, on the island of Nuku Hiva, the local predator is known as the no-no.

"Here, it's the small things that'll get you," says Dr. Adrian Cohen, who has been the medical director for all four Survivor productions.

And small, it is, measuring 1 1/2 millimeters – the no-no, or no-see-um, as it is called in the U.S. It is a tiny fly with a big appetite.

"Now, they're not really going hurt you, but they're irritating as all get-out," says the doctor, adding, "They're going to get bitten. It's as simple as that. They're going to get annoyed as all hell, and they're just going to have to put up with it. It's part of tropical life."

Despite the sub-tropical temperatures, nearly everybody but the contestants are covered from head to toe. That's because the no-nos are everywhere."

And covering up for fear of a few bug bites isn't likely to happen on a tropical island during prime time.

"One of the great things about coming to an island is bikinis and guys in shorts. says Survivor host Jeff Probst. "I'd be lying if I said sex didn't play a part in the show. It's what I want to watch, too. I'd love to watch 16 dynamic people who are also barely dressed and really good to look at."

So it's comforting to know Survivor producers provide plenty of repellent.

"They have been provided with a local insect repellent which isn't a repellent at all. It's a coconut oil that you put on and it drowns the bugs, because we don't want them getting bitten to death," says executive producer Mark Burnett. "That would just be a bore."

And, hopefully, this new group of survivors witnessed what could happen when the beach bugs get the better of you, as they did with Colleen Haskell in the original Survivor.

"I think the bugs and the critters are going to have an impact kind of like on the first one, where Colleen had these horrible scars," says Probst. "It's moist here, and when it's moist, there's always those little critters crawling around."

While there really are no dangerous creatures on Nuku Hiva, the waters surrounding the island are filled with sharks, rays and other threatening sea life. And we can't leave out the sharp coral that lies off the beach.
  • Ellen Crean

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