What are the health risks of house flies?
- Typhoid Fever
House flies can be seen everywhere in the Philippines. Most of us don’t really mind them most of the time since they’re more of an annoyance than an actual threat to us. There are also many types of pest control that can easily handle them.
However, hidden behind these bothersome pests are a lot of health risks that are very dangerous when left unattended. Make sure to keep them in mind when houseflies are abundant!
Before we go further, you should know some basic things about the common house fly.
Why are House Flies Dangerous?
These house flies are small, around 7mm in length. They cannot bite because their mouths consist of a spongy pad shape. They are mostly being used for releasing saliva and digestive juices to turn food into liquid. Flies taste everything through the hair on their feet and mouth. Because of this, they tend to walk on everything that they think is potential food.
Their feet have sticky pads on them that lets them stick on most smooth surfaces. This allows them to collect numerous germs that are dangerous to your health. House flies are frequently found on rotting garbage and human waste.
The Health Hazards of House Flies
The most common reason house flies are considered a health hazard is that they carry a lot of bacteria because of where they have been. Since they can be frequently found on rotten food, garbage, and animal/human waste, the germs found on these items also come along with them.
Aside from this, it is important to note that houseflies tend to vomit and leave excrement on what they eat. This makes the food that house flies land on a possible vessel of all the bacteria that is on it.
Studies show that house flies carry about 200 types of bacteria with them. Some of which are known to be the cause of many kinds of diseases. Most of these diseases can be contracted by eating food that house flies have landed on.
Here are the most common types of diseases they carry:
Typhoid Fever – a sickness you get when you consume food or drinks contaminated by the Salmonella typhi bacteria.
This lasts for about 3 to 4 weeks. Its symptoms include poor appetite, headaches, aches and pains all over the body, fever as high as 40 degrees Celsius, and diarrhea.
The best way to treat this sickness is through antibiotics, which can kill the Salmonella bacteria.
Cholera – an infectious disease that causes severe and watery diarrhea. This leads to dehydration when left untreated. It is caused by eating food that is contaminated with the Vibrio cholerae bacteria.
This illness happens quickly, hours after you’ve gotten the bacteria. Its symptoms are: stomachaches, urges to vomit, the feeling of being dehydrated, and diarrhea.
There is a vaccine for cholera, however, the World Health Organization don’t normally recommend it because it doesn’t work on almost half of the people who receive it. It would be better to prevent it with pest control (for house flies) and making sure to drink only water that is disinfected.
Dysentery – an inflammation of the intestine, it is caused by a number of bacteria spread by a house fly. It can cause bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and cramps, indigestion and nausea, vomiting, and flatulence.
Same with the other mentioned sicknesses, this is also caused by eating something contaminated with bacteria.
When mild, Dysentery can be cured with antibiotics, however severe dysentery needs medical treatment from a hospital.
Apart from these illnesses, it is also possible for house flies to carry parasitic worms and spread leprosy and anthrax! A rather scary group for a tiny annoyance.
By now, it should be obvious that house flies are not just a simple annoyance. These pests are bringers of many germs that can cause sickness for anyone in your family, especially when they find their way to your food.
House flies are everywhere; it is important for you to prevent them from getting on your things, especially your food. It should be very easy to control them with the use of pest control; however, you should still remember to find different ways to prevent house flies from getting close to you.