Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sand fly threat


So, let's get back to discussing the intentional communities in Ramat Negev Regional Council that my group visited a few weeks ago. 

Everything looks nice and we heard about the advantages and good feeling of living together by choice in a communal settlement (yishuv kehilati).
 But we also noticed the lecturers kept rubbing their arms as they spoke.

And then our guide pointed out these fly traps hung all around (around the kindergarten, in this photo)  and the source of the itching became clear.
Traps not just for regular pesky flies but rather for dangerous little sand flies.

Sand flies of the genus Leishmania bite and cause leishmaniasis, known colloquially as the Rose of Jericho.  (Warning: that link shows ugly scars that can result from the bites.)
It has always been endemic in Jericho, but apparently in the last few years the disease has spread into Israel's Jordan Valley.
And now the sand fly has invaded certain parts of the Negev too.

Two years ago the Israel Ministry of Health designated  Sanford F. Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases of the Hebrew University as Israel’s National Laboratory for Leishmaniasis.
I just hope the various government authorities get their act together and decide who should be  responsible for controlling this threat in Israel.
 An estimated 12 million cases of leishmaniasis are reported worldwide, with 1.5-2 million new cases a year.

No one promised the early and the current pioneers in the Negev a rose garden, but they should not have to suffer from the Rose of Jericho.
(For ABC Wednesday, U is for ugly urticarial papules.)


José Mendonça said...

A terrible pest! Yuck.

Rajesh said...

Those flies seems to be very dangerous.

Reader Wil said...

Horrible, Dina! I hope that you don't have to suffer from these insects. I hate sandflies. We had to deal with them in New Zealand for only a short time. I don't think we were in danger of getting ill.
Good luck, Dina.

Anita said...

Lecturers rubbing their arms... must be their style...
Nice pics. Great info.
Wanna stay away from the flies :)
Have a wow week!

Trubes said...

What a dreadful worry, such a venomous little fly. I do hope the government can get it under control.
This is the first time I have visited your blog so I'm going to have a good read later,
My name is Di,( Blogger Trubes)
and I help Roger and Denise on the ABCW team.
So, all best wishes from,
ABCW team.

Roger Owen Green said...

uck! ick!


Dina said...

Jose, yep, yuck is the word.

Rajesh, shalom. Yes, seems to be.

Wil, no worries. No sand flies in my area.

Anita, when you itch, you gotta scratch, or so it looked.

Di, welcome. Sorry your first visit happened on a not-happy topic. Thanks for the work you ABC Wednesday team members do every week for so many years.

William Kendall said...

It sounds thoroughly unpleasant!

Petrea Burchard said...

You say no sand flies in your area. I hope they can't spread to Meitar! they sound yucky, like others have said.

VP said...

Ouch! This is not good...

Birdman said...

Controlling flies? Has it come to this? There have to be more pressing issues in the ME.

ChrisJ said...

Oh dear! That is not fun! I do hope the right people will get it together and find a way to control it. Such a pretty name for a miserable disease.

AuraOfThoughts MeenalSonal said...

Did knew about the sand fly before...Nice information.

yael said...

We lived 30 years ago in the Arava and my daughter was bitten by one of those flys and has a very small scar on her arm.