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Swine-flu outbreak could be linked to Smithfield factory farms
Posted 11:06 AM on 25 Apr 2009
by Tom Philpott

The outbreak of a new flu strain—a nasty mash-up of swine, avian, and human viruses—has infected 1,000 people in Mexico and the U.S., killing 68. The World Health Organization warned Saturday that the outbreak could reach global pandemic levels.

Residents [of Perote] believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to “flu.” However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms. It was unclear whether health officials had identified a suspected pathogen responsible for this outbreak.


Rats, Flies Likely To Spread Avian Influenza
(Although yet comfirmed by U.S. studies, the threat of flies carrying the Bird Flu infection is very real as flies are already responsible for transmitting at least 65 other diseases to humans; see Fact #2 below)

Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari has warned people to stay alert against avian influenza (AI) infection through rats and flies, after research by the Gadjah Mada University showed that they could become carriers of the deadly bird flu virus.

"In addition to killing flies and rats, people must also throw away the excrement of pigs and chickens, because the two animals are potential sources of the AI virus, which can be transmitted from animal to animal and from animal to humans."   Vietamese News Agency


FACT #1  The female will lay approximately five to six times during her lifetime (about 30 days) and may produce 1,000 eggs. Mississippi State University Extension Service CARES

FACT #2   "House flies are strongly suspected of transmitting at least 65 diseases to humans, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy and tuberculosis."
Pennsylvania State College of Agricultural Science
Pennsylvania State College of Agricultural Sciences:
FACT #3   "Flies cost nearly $1 Billion in annual production losses to the U.S. dairy and beef industries."United States Department of Agriculture
United States Dept. of Agriculture:
::::: Common Fly Varieties :::::
The life expectancy of a fly is 7 days to 8 weeks. There are 16,000 different species of flies in North America alone; a few of the most common flies are named here.

Source: U. S. Department Of Agriculture
   Stable Flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) attack animals’ (including dogs and cats) legs and bellies, and feed on blood several times a day. They cause painful biting, animal fatigue, and weight loss.

Source: U. S. Department Of Agriculture

Horn Flies (Haematobia irritans) cause painful bites; each fly punctures the cow’s skin 20 to 40 times a day. A population of several thousand horn flies may be present on one animal. When large numbers of these flies are on cattle, the cattle bunch and expend considerable effort fighting the flies. They will often stand in water or seek shade trying to get relief from the flies. When they do this, they fail to graze normally. Studies in the United States and Canada show that during the grazing season yearling cattle free from horn flies gain from 15 to 50 pounds more than heavily infested animals. Nebraska studies and others show a 10- to 15-pound advantage in calf weaning weights where cows have had good horn fly control. Milk production of dairy cattle pastured during the day may be decreased as much as 20 percent by horn flies Horn flies cause severe nervousness and interfere with the animal’s feeding and resting, and can cause blood loss and reduced weight gain. These flies are known to infect pets and other animals. However, horn flies have the most impact on pasture and range cattle.

Source: U. S. Department Of Agriculture
Face Flies (Musca autumnalis) cause extreme annoyance to cattle on pasture all summer. They feed on animal secretions such as tears, saliva, nasal mucus, and blood oozing from wounds. They also sometimes serve as vectors of eye diseases and parasites such as pinkeye and eye worms.
Source: U. S. Department Of Agriculture

More Facts Houseflies can only take in liquid foods. The instant the fly lands on your food it secretes an enzyme called volidrop, along with a portion of his previous meal. This it does right on the area of the food it wants to consume. This potent mixture liquefies the tiny spot almost immediately.

The fly then consumes the liquid food and moves on leaving behind diseases that can get you deathly sick. After they eat they spit it out then suck it back in. They also throw up partially digested matter and eat it again. The flies can walk on vertical planes, and can even hang upside down from ceilings. This is accomplished with the surface tension (a phenomenon at the surface of a liquid caused by intermolecular forces) of liquids secreted by various organs that synthesize substances needed by the body and release it through ducts or directly into the bloodstream via glands near their feet. Lacking eyelids, the flies continually clean their eyes with their forelegs. Most of their taste and smell sensor cells are on hairs on their legs, and that is why they also keep rubbing their legs together.

Source: U. S. Department Of Agriculture

House Flies (Musca domestica)
Authored by: Steve Jacobs, Sr. Extension Associate
University of Nebraska Department of Entomology

Introduction House flies are not the neatest of insects. They visit such places as dumps, sewers, and garbage heaps. They feed on fecal matter, discharges from wounds and sores, sputum, and all sorts of moist decaying matter such as spoiled fish, eggs and meat.

Economic Importance House flies are strongly suspected of transmitting at least 65 diseases to humans, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy and tuberculosis. Flies regurgitate and excrete wherever they come to rest and thereby mechanically transmit disease organisms.

Biology House flies can be easily identified by the four dark, longitudinal stripes on top of the thorax, or middle body region. They vary in length from l/8-l/4 of an inch. Their mouth parts are adapted for sponging up liquids; they cannot bite. These flies can only ingest liquid food. They feed on attractive solid food by regurgitating saliva on it. The saliva liquifies the solid material which is then sponged up with the proboscis. They require water since they are continually salivating and voiding liquids. Fly specks seen on many surfaces visited by house flies are the excreted wastes.  

The eggs are deposited in decaying matter such as grass clippings, garbage, human and animal excrement. Horse manure is the preferred breeding medium. About l00-l50 eggs are deposited by each female on appropriate food. Eggs may hatch in 7 l/2 hours when temperatures are high (about 99× F), or it may take two days if the temperature is only 59×F. Eggs hatch into worm-like creatures called maggots (Fig. 1b). Maggots lack definite heads, eyes, antennae or legs. Their bodies are pointed at their front end and gradually widen at the rear. They feed on the material in which they find themselves. There are three larval molts. Mature larvae stop feeding and burrow for protection in drier surrounding areas, where they pupate. The pupa is a chestnut brown, oval object within which the larva changes into an adult house fly. Adults mate within one to two days after emerging from their pupal cases. The life cycle, from egg to adult, may take as little as one week, but normally requires three weeks for completion. House flies normally live about 2 l/2 weeks during the summer, but they can, at lower temperatures, survive up to three months. Some overwinter outdoors in protected locations, or in crevices in buildings. Flies normally stay within l/2-2 miles of their point of origin, but have been known to travel as far as 20 miles to find food and ovipositional sites.

Fly Facts Continued






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