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We have all seen a fly, or flies, on our food before. This is a common sight during outdoor events or even in houses during the summer months. But big deal, right? All you need to do is swipe the fly away and start eating your meal. Unfortunately, these seemingly harmless flies may be more dangerous than we would all like to believe. A recent study has shown that houseflies carry an enormous amount of bacteria, and much of this bacteria can cause illnesses to humans.

Professor Donald Bryant from Penn State believes that flies may have always caused illnesses to people by contaminating food. If the dangers associated with flies had not been overlooked for so long, public health officials may have prevented many illnesses and even deaths from occurring in the past. Some researchers believe that flies could also help accelerate the transmission of diseases caused by insects during outbreaks. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports has found that flies are far more dangerous than we think, as they are covered with dangerous microbes that humans ingest, often times knowingly.

When you think about it, it should not be so surprising to learn that flies can cause people to fall ill. After all, flies are attracted to highly unsanitary and sometimes downright putrid conditions. The study’s researchers analyzed the microbial content of numerous flies, as well as their individual body parts. Not surprisingly, a fly’s legs are the most unsanitary part of a fly’s body, as their legs can quickly spread microbes from one surface to another. Both the legs and the wings show the highest degree of microbe diversity. This finding has led researchers to conclude that bacteria can use flies in order to become airborne and spread to new areas. Although researchers have long known that flies, like carrion flies, blow flies and even house flies can operate as mechanical disease vectors all over the world, the full extent of their ability to transmit microbes has only been recently understood due to improvements in scientific technology.

 

Will you think twice about eating outdoors again after reading this article? Will you eat food even if you find a single fly on it?

 

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