Sunday, June 26, 2022

Brits visiting Spain warn of black flies that bite skin and ‘blind people’

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Spanish health authorities have warned tourists to be on the lookout for the nasty black flies, known for sawing their victims’ skin with their teeth

After two years of Covid making international travel hell, holidaymakers visiting Spain are now being warned to watch out for biting black flies that like to saw your skin.

The bite of the antisocial insect is said to cause swelling that can last up to a month, with local health leaders warning that the blackfly is “very close to becoming a major public health problem in Spain”.

Some people impaled by the insect required hospital treatment.

And other countries have even reported cases of people being blinded by the attack, the Mirror reports.

The Spanish regions most affected are: Andalusia, Aragon, Catalonia, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia.

Jorge Galván, the director-general of ANECPLA, the environmental health organization, has warned that the insect can grow up to 6mm in length, adding: “Small and dark in colour, the virulence of the blackfly bite is much greater than that of other insects.

“The basic problem is that it does not sting but bites in the form of a saw, causing a significant wound and can lead to very alarming infections and allergic reactions, requiring hospitalization in some cases.

“The black fly bites and causes a small tear in its victim’s skin. She starts by inoculating a small dose of an anesthetic that allows her to bite without the affected person realizing it.”

Galván also warned: “Your saliva usually causes severe allergy symptoms and severe pain in the area. The final effect is a welt several centimeters in size, which usually even bleeds, accompanied by severe swelling that can last up to a month. “

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Aside from causing blindness, reports have further claimed that the blackfly is a vector of serious infectious diseases such as river blindness, which is native to several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil and Venezuela.

According to ANECPLA, the black fly does not currently transmit such a serious disease in Spain, but has warned travelers that “due to globalization and the effects of climate change, it is a matter of time before this happens unless proper preventive measures are put in place to stop it.” check.”

Health experts have advised that it is important not to scratch yourself when suffering from a blackfly bite, as this can worsen the wound and become infected.

It is also recommended to apply ice to reduce inflammation or an ointment with a mild corticosteroid.

And in the worst case, it was advised to immediately go to the nearest hospital or health center and report the case to avoid worsening the disease.

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