vitamins and minerals

Diseases from House Flies

I am writing this article as a way to promote our fly swatters. It provides information on diseases that can be caused by house flies.

House flies frequent manure piles and other fecal sources. They also visit decaying matter, including dead animals. When landing on food prepared for human consumption, contaminated material is often transferred into the food.

There is a wide range of diseases that can be transmitted by flies. Here are a few:

Typhoid fever (Salmonella typhi)

Symptoms: high temperature (up to 104 deg F or 40 deg C), loss of appetite, headache, stomach pain and generally some weakness. Sometimes a pink rash appears.

Treatment: A doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic and the symptoms will disappear within a few days. If no treatment is given, the subject can become seriously ill and even die from secondary problems (up to 20% of people with typhoid fever die without treatment).

Cholera (caused by Vibria cholerae, a bacterium)

Symptoms: unexpected episodes of watery diarrhea containing flecks of white mucus, stomach pain, dry or sticky mouth, sunken eyes, concentrated colored urine, in a child a markedly sunken fontanelle (the soft spot at the top of the head), dryness skin, nausea and vomiting (usually).

Treatment: Cases can range from mild to severe. If left untreated, severe cases can lead to near death. Drink plenty of cool water, mixed with small amounts of salt and sugar. This will restore the body fluid. Treatment should be administered immediately.

Escherichia coli

Symptoms: It depends on the strain of Escherichia coli. Most strains are harmless and cause no detectable symptoms. Other strains, such as O157:H7, can sometimes cause bloody diarrhea. In a very small number of cases, Escherichia coli O157:H7 can cause hemolytic uraemic syndrome which can lead to kidney failure in young children. For most of us, and most of the time, Escherichia coli is not a problem.

Treatment: No treatment is needed unless uremic syndrome develops, in which case blood transfusion and kidney dialysis may be required.

Shigellosis (caused by Shigella, a bacterium)

Symptoms: Diarrhea (often bloody), fever and stomach pain. Most cases are mild and may even go unnoticed. In a small number of cases, the very young and very old may be vulnerable to high temperature fever, possibly (and rarely) leading to a seizure in a toddler.

These are just a few of the diseases that can be transmitted by house flies. Be careful. To be safe, you can install a fly killing machine (details follow).

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