Spain holiday alert as Brits told to watch out for black flies sawing into skin

BRITS traveling to Spain for the holidays are being warned to watch out for biting blackflies, which can saw into skin and leave people in hospital.

Health experts say the number of insects is skyrocketing – and “is very close to becoming a major public health problem in Spain”.

Black fly sucks blood from a human on the skin


Black fly sucks blood from a human on the skinCredit: Alamy

The flies, which swell their victims for up to a month, have been found in Andalusia, Aragon, Catalonia, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia.

And now the National Association of Environmental Health Companies has warned there could be big problems if the numbers aren’t curbed.

Its director general, Jorge Galván, said: “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.”

The fly can transmit serious diseases such as onchocerciasis, which can lead to blindness.

According to the World Health Organization, around 270,000 people worldwide have been blinded by the disease.

Galván continued: “Your saliva usually causes severe allergy symptoms and severe pain in the area.

“The end effect is a welt several centimeters in size, which usually even bleeds, accompanied by severe swelling that can last up to a month.”

ANECPLA warns anyone who has been bitten not to scratch them as this can worsen the wound and become infected.

It is recommended to treat the bite with ice to reduce swelling and a mild corticosteroid ointment.

If symptoms worsen, ANECPLA advises going straight to a hospital for treatment. Spain holiday alert as Brits told to watch out for black flies sawing into skin

Fry Electronics Team

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