Panic over bizarre swarm of narrow bee flies ‘Nairobi flies’ in Kabarnet


Panic over bizarre swarm of narrow bee flies 'Nairobi flies' in Kabarnet

Businesses in Kabarnet, Baringo County came to a standstill after a swarm of narrow bee flies invaded the town on Wednesday morning.

They covered large parts of the road including the bus stage and business premises.

The insects caused a scare in the town with residents forced to flee and shut down businesses.

Daniel Mutai, a driver, said that they were unable to go to work as their offices remain closed following the bizarre infestation.

He urged the county government of Baringo to intervene and spray the insects.

David Kiplagat, a community leader, expressed fear that the presence of the insects might be a sign of a plague since the county recently dealt with locust invasion.

He also called upon residents to be cautious since the insects are harmful to the skin.

Experts note that inflammation on the skin occurs when the narrow bee fly has been crushed onto the skin releasing the pederin toxin.

“The insect doesn’t sting or bite, but when its ant-like body is crushed on any part of the body, potent toxin spills onto the skin, causing itching, a burning sensation and swelling,” County chief officer of Public Health Samuel King’ori told a local daily during a past interview.

In January this year, the Standard newspaper reported that the Nakuru GK Male prison had become infested with narrow bee flies.

The situation was however contained county officers sprayed the area with pesticides.

During the same period in Nairobi, there were reports at the Ngong Road Health Centre and Kibera GSU of patients affected by the narrow bee fly.

Experts note that treatment involves a combination of antihistamines and antibiotics.

Healing can take any time between one week and one month.

The narrow bee flies are commonly found in wet areas and usually appear during periods of heavy rains that form an adequate environment for them to breed.

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Story By Evans Chumo
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