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Nairobi Fly Outbreak: What You Need to Know

Nairobi Fly

To those who have had an encounter with this beetle know that it is not a pleasant. It is a source of pain and discomfort that nobody would wish to have. Recently, there has been an outbreak of Nairobi Fly in Nairobi. This is reportedly the third time after 1998 and 2007 incidences. Many Nairobians have no idea which home remedies can be used to manage the devastating effects of this insect. This article will be useful to you during this season of Nairobi Fly outbreak.

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What Exactly is Nairobi Fly?

Two species of Nairobi Fly or Kenya Fly do exist: Paederus eximius and Paederus sabaeus. The red and black insects are species of the rove beetle genus paederus, and live and lay their eggs in rotting leaves.

How does it cause Harm?

This  insect neither stings nor bites. It is a common example of insects that contain a corrosive substance known as pederin.

Pederin, the corrosive toxin that cause a burning sensation on your skin, get released when the insect is crushed against your skin, which is most lkely to happen when you brush it off your skin.

Upon contact with the skin, the corrosive toxin causes  itching or a burning sensation which consequently leads to swelling. The effect of the insect include severe itching as well as ugly patches of blisters on the skin.

The effects of the toxin may not show in the first 12-24 hours. The symptoms may resolve in two to three weeks. Nonetheless, if affected by the toxin, you may be predisposed to secondary bacterial infection. Open blisters and patches on your skin are a good entry point for bacteria into your body.

A condition known as Nairobi Eye may also develop when you get in contact with the toxin from Nairobi Fly. This happens when you touch your eyes with hands that have come in contact with the toxin. Your eyes will swell, become red and/or develop further complications.

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Home Remedy

It is not complicated to manage the effects of Nairobi Fly.

Once you have made contact with the fly, or you have crushed it in your attempt to get rid of it from your skin, wash the affected area and your hands immediately with soapy water.

Under advice of a qualified medical doctor or pharmacist, apply a topical steroid to ease the burning sensation. If a secondary bacterial infection is suspected, an antibiotic ointment can be applied. Oral antihistamines are also good in managing itching that may result in scratching.

What causes outbreak?

These insects are most prevalent during the rainy season. The outbreaks that have happened before have been during or after heavy rains. Moist environment is associated with rotting of leaves, which provide a condusive living and breeding place for the insects.

Nairobi fly is attracted by fluorescent light. This is why you see them in your homestead.

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Safety Measures to Observe
  • Blow off rather than brushing away the insect incase you spot one crawling  on yur skin. This reduces the chances of it to be crushed on your skin. You can as well use a piece of paper to pick the insect from your skin.
  • Ensure these insect is not around your bed or ceiling before you go to bed.
  • During rainy season, or in an outbreak, close all windows and doors before it is dark.
  • Sleep under  a mosquito net.
  • Avoid touching your eyes in case you crush one. Wash the affected area and your hands immediately with soapy water.
  • Clear excess vegetation around and from your house.

Has this article been useful to you? Share it to help more people.

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Kimeli Dorcas Jepkeitany


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Micheni Micheni January 5, 2020 at 9:25 pm

Absolutely worth the read! Thank you for this!
I’ve also found application of toothpaste to sores to be very helpful.

Thanks for the read again, and I’ll be sure to share this! 💯

TheMedic January 6, 2020 at 4:14 am

Thank you Micheni. We are glad that the article has been of help to you. Thank you also for sharing use of toothpaste as a home remedy.

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