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Why Car Nicobar is scared of the housefly
August 01, 2006 14:44 IST
Last Updated: August 01, 2006 15:10 IST
Health workers in tsunami-hit Car Nicobar islands fear an epidemic outbreak after a sudden rise in the population of houseflies in Nicobar district of the island chain.
According to the local health department, the population of flies has increased in the in the last few months.
"There is rise in cases of diarrhea in Car Nicobar because of these flies and things could become worst if it is not controlled," Dr H Charles, Medical Superintendent of Car Nicobar's government hospital told UNI.
The far-flung island situated in the Bay of Bengal was ravaged by tsunami waves 19 months back, resulting in the arrival of thousands of aid workers from across the globe.
The Indian government also shipped tones of relief and rehabilitation material, including huge quantity of manure, which experts believe is the main cause behind the abnormal rise in fly population.
"It seems the deposition of neem cakes is the main reason behind the population rise as it provides a happy breeding ground for flies," Dr Charles added.
It smells like hell and wherever it is dumped, the population of fly is higher, said John Steven a junior teacher of Car Nicobar's Mus Village.
"These irritating things are everywhere in our schools, home and in foods too," complains Marian, a schoolgirl.
The education department is taking extra care to prevent any possible outbreak of disease among students.
"We have asked all the contractors who supply food in school to take extra precaution," said a senior education department officer in Car Nicobar.
The district administration in Car Nicobar also admits that flies have become nuisance in the islands.
"Yes it is felt in some areas, but we haven't received any complain from anybody in this regard, if we get one suitable steps would be taken to prevent it. It is seasonal I believe," said Deputy Commissioner of Car Nicobar Islands Ankita Mishra.
However, local people say the rise is abnormal.
"This is first time we have seen these many flies, Dr Charles added.
"Flies were a menace in Kamorta too two months back so I have cleared all the neem cake from the island and sent it to those islands, for which they were brought here now there is no such menace. It was really a difficult situation," said S C Tyagi, Assistant Commissioner of Nancowry group of islands.
"Musca domestica, commonly known the housefly, breeds in moist or decaying organic matter like neem cake manure, and transmits a wide variety of diseases including diarrhea.
The adult fly transmits disease by contaminating food with diseased organisms it has picked up on its hairy legs or has ingested and then regurgitated.
On the average, 12 generations of houseflies are produced in one year if environmental conditions are felt favourable. The number of diarrhea cases are rising in our islands. "I have told the district administration that we don't want neem cake any more. Flies are laying eggs in it and millions of them are hatching," said Thomas Philip, the captain of Mus village and the secretary of tribal council.
Till now the administration has no plan to launch a drive to control the population explosion of flies in Car Nicobar as there is no one to point out. Perhaps an epidemic would be enough to press the panic button.According to official figures the Andaman and Nicobar Administration has dumped 9,345 metric tones of neem Cakes in Nicobar Groups of islands for increasing the fertility of Car Nicobar in turn it increase the problems.