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Rise in flies poses risk of diarrhoea and contagious viral fever

11 Jun 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Sheain Fernandopulle

As floodwaters recede, the proliferation of flies has raised alarms among health authorities due to the increased risk of diarrhoea outbreaks and the spread of contagious viral fevers.

According to consultant Dr. Deepal Perera, the abundance of organic matter in flooded areas accelerates the maturation of fly eggs, leading to a rapid increase in fly populations as floodwaters subside. These newly hatched flies, seeking food sources, often gravitate towards faeces, garbage, and contaminated surfaces, further exacerbating the health crisis.

“The consequences of the surge in fly populations are dire. Flies are notorious carriers of pathogens, including bacteria and viruses responsible for diarrheal diseases and viral fevers,” he pointed out.

“Contaminated food and water sources, when ingested, can lead to a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, cramps, nausea (feeling an urge to vomit), and loose stools,” Dr Perera stated.

Furthermore, he said the risk of contracting contagious viral fevers, characterized by symptoms such as fever, headache, and nausea also increases significantly in areas with a high concentration of flies.

To combat the rise in fly populations and mitigate the associated health risks, people are urged to use sealed containers for garbage disposal and maintain clean water sources.
Dr Perera highlighted that prompt medical attention can help mitigate the spread of disease and alleviate the severity of symptoms among affected individuals.