100 students of Sikkim College infected after coming in contact with Nairobi flies

Tags: State News

Around 100 students of an engineering college in East Sikkim suffered severe skin infections after coming into contact with Nairobi flies.

  • About Nairobi flies

  • These flies are native to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya in East Africa, and are therefore called Nairobi flies.

  • These flies are like dragon bugs.

  • They belong to two species, Paederus eximius and Paederus sabaeus. 

  • They are orange and black in color, and thrive in areas of high rainfall.

  • Like most insects, they are attracted to bright light.

  • Effect of Nairobi flies on humans

  • Farm pests are the primary food source of Nairobi flies, so these insects are beneficial to humans.

  • Since they are attracted to bright lights, it is not rare for them to find their way into human habitats.

  • Unlike most insects, Nairobi flies do not bite, but when they do bite, they release a fluid called Pederin that causes chemical burns on the skin.

  • This chemical can cause unusual burns or sores on the skin.

  • Within a day or two, pinhead-sized blisters appear, which are filled with a yellowish fluid.

  • Even though the skin may heal in a week or two, the affected area may become infected for other reasons.

  • Outbreaks of the disease

  • Outbreaks have been seen in Kenya and other parts of East Africa.

  • Outside Africa, there have been outbreaks in the past in India, Japan, Israel and Paraguay.

  • Protection against Nairobi flies

  • Prevent it from coming near you.

  • Sleeping under a mosquito net can help.

  • The fly should not be distracted, crushed or touched to reduce the chances of releasing the toxin.

  • Any area where flies sit should be washed with soap and water.

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