The Nairobi Flies created a ruckus, infecting over a hundred Sikkim Students
What is the Nairobi Fly?
Nairobi Flies also popularly called Kenyan flies are small insects that resemble beetles. With an elongated body, they are striped orange and black.
They are mostly found in monsoon regions that remain moist with high rainfall.
They are mostly native to East Africa, which allots it a popular name. Nairobi Flies can cause chemical burns leading to blisters on the skin due to the corrosive substance, pederin contained within the fly.
They are produced by the symbiotic bacteria that host on the Nairobi Flies.
The effect of these flies is usually only limited to potential acidic burns on the skin. However, they neither bite nor sting. Nairobi flies don’t cause damage to crops or eat pests as well, rendering it harmless to the agrarian economy. The last Nairobi Fly outbreak occurred in 2020.
Effect of the Nairobi Flies in Sikkim
Recently, an engineering college in Sikkim saw over a hundred students being infected with chemical burns and blisters causing severe skin infections.
In a shocking turn of events, a student from Sikkim University had to undergo hand surgery as a result of the Nairobi Fly.
Health Department Officials reported that the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology is seeing a rapid outbreak of the Nairobi Flies that cause severe skin damage, dermatitis, or lesions.
How to Treat and Protect One from The Nairobi Flies?
The Nairobi flies usually cause blisters and chemical burns within 24 to 48 hours of contact with the individual. Fortunately, in a majority of cases these dry out quickly and don’t leave scars.
However, in the most severe of cases, the toxin could spread over the entire body causing a number of medical conditions like fever, joint pain, and nausea. It could also lead to temporary blindness or conjunctivitis if in contact with the eyes.
The Health Department during the 2020 outbreak advised that these flies should not be directly touched and blown off gently.
Attempts to kill the fly by crushing it could also prove fatal as the strong poison gets released. Precautions such as avoiding sitting under light and wearing full-sleeved clothing are proven to be effective.
If direct contact has been established with the fly, then it should be thoroughly washed with cold running water and soap. Antibiotics and proper ointments can also be used to treat