A swarm of narrow bee flies but better known as “Nairobi flies” forced Kabarnet residents to scatter for safety.
The 6-10 mm insects infested the town forcing business people to close shops. Roads too, were impassable.
According to a community leader who spoke to a local TV station, the sudden infestation could be a plague just like the locust invasion.
He urged the people to be cautious as they were harmful to the skin.
Millions of Narrow Bee flies, popularly known as "Nairobi Fly" have invaded Kabarnet town, Baringo County causing a major scare and paralysing operations. When crushed on the skin, these tiny insects release toxins which cause itching and swelling. pic.twitter.com/WMSOsmo2PD
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) April 22, 2020
Experts say that the insect releases pederin toxin when crushed on the skin hence causing inflammation.
“The substance is released when the insect is crushed against the skin. The effects, which include itching and ugly patches of blisters on the skin, may not show in the first 12 to 24 hours. Symptoms start to show two to three weeks,” MedicalHub says.
Apart from a scaly skin or itching, one may develop a condition known as “Nairobi Eye” when they touch their eyes with hands that had come into contact with the toxin.
“The eyes will swell, become red and/or develop further complications. The fly is a source of pain and discomfort and many Nairobians do not know the home remedies to use to help manage it,” experts say.
In January, cases of narrow bee flies were reported in Nairobi.
Then, acting health county executive Veska Kangogo said there were four mothers from the newborn unit in Pumwani Hospital, two cases at Ngong Road health centre and two cases in Kibera GSU.
The flies thrive during the rainy season as conditions are favourable for breeding.
Affected persons, experts say, can be treated with antihistamines or antibiotics.
The Nairobi Fly infestation was last reported in 1998 and 2007, in Kenya.