SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
Recently, around 100 students of Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology have reported skin infections after coming in contact with Nairobi flies.
- Nairobi flies, also called Kenyan flies or dragon bugs, are beetle-like insects that belong to two species: Paederus eximius and Paederus sabaeus.
- They are orange and black in colour, and thrive in areas with high rainfall.
THE FLIES & HUMANS:
- Usually, the insects attack pests that consume crops and are beneficial for humans but at times, they come in contact with humans directly and cause harm.
- These flies do not bite, but if disturbed while sitting on any one’s skin, they release a potent acidic substance that causes burns
- This substance, pederin, can cause irritation, leading to lesions or unusual marks or colouring on the skin
- The skin begins to heal in a week or two, but some secondary infections can occur.
- Major outbreaks have happened in Kenya and other parts of eastern Africa.
- Outside Africa, outbreaks have happened in India, Japan, Israel, and Paraguay in the past.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS