Biting flies pose a threat to human health. Researchers have understood this for a long time. And they show today how flies that don’t bite can be just as dangerous. Their lethal weapon: vomit!
My sensitive, abstain! What follows might just turn your stomach. Because, even if the fly vomit remains microscopic, it can end up on a food that you are about to eat. And that, beyond the immediately unattractive aspect of the idea, is really not the best that can happen, according to the work of researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (United States ). The risk to our health would be much greater than that – already significant – represented by biting flies which spread diseases by transporting infected blood from one to the other.
Imagine a fly. Of those that revolve around your table, especially in summer. Imagine it outside. Its main occupation is to find food. On dead animals by the roadside, on rotting waste or in sewers. The fly stores everything it finds. In a crop in which there are very few enzymes or antimicrobial agents. Enough to make it a storage area also for all kinds of pathogens.
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There would be nothing alarming if the fly ended up quietly consuming the contents of its crop. But that may not be quite the case. After feasting on dog droppings, for example, the fly likes to get rid of excess water by regurgitating it. Then vaporizing everything that has been in contact with this water. The trouble is when the regurgitation is done directly on the piece of chicken with which you are preparing to make a sandwich. The piece on which, therefore, the fly not only puts its dirty legs, but also possibly deposits vomit…
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