A study on house flies was carried out to establish whether house flies can transmit the H1N1 virus mechanically due to their abundance, ability to transport pathogens and their behavioral traits of regurgitation and defecation. The objectives of this study were to examine the efficiency of house fly legs in picking up the influenza H1N1 virus particles, persistency of the virus particles on the legs at different time interval, viability of the virus dislodged from the legs and the presence of the virus in vomitus and fecal discharge of the house flies. The findings indicated that the persistency of H1N1 virus on fly legs could be detected up to 24 h in chilled and actively flying flies. Furthermore, the viability of virus was evidenced from immobilized flies exposed for 30 s. However, H1N1 virus was not detected in the vomitus and feces. Further, epidemiological studies are needed before the significance of house flies as transmitter of influenza virus can be determined.
Key words: H1N1 virus, epidemiological studies, house flies, influenza, transmit
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