Nellie loves to chase houseflies but it could be bad for her
Little Red Dog Nellie 

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Why would I want to talk about Houseflies? Nellie, my red, Dobbie - mix sister, loves to chase them. She is so funny. She doesn't pay any attention to where she is going and sometimes bumps into things tumbling over. But now after finding out that houseflies might be the culprit behind another illness - just one more reason to keep them out of the house, yard, water/food bowls, etc...
     In the past, it was popular wisdom that stress was the main cause of ulcers. Today, scientists have identified the real culprit: a bacteria called H. pylori. Doctors aren't sure yet how the infection gets passed from one person to the other.
Researchers in Boston think flies may be partly to blame. After watching the movie, The Fly, it's easy to see why these ugly insects disgust so many people.
      Dr. Peter Grubel hates flies, too; but he studies them in his Boston lab every day. He thinks flies carry and spread H. pylori, the bacteria known to cause ulcers in humans.
     Peter Grubel, M.D., gastroenterologist, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Brighton, Mass., "We were very surprised when we found that these bacteria can survive in the fly stomach like the human stomach."  H. pylori infection is more common in third world countries where sanitation is a problem. Since flies are attracted to garbage and animal waste, Dr. Grubel began to suspect a link.
     Peter Grubel, M.D., "Three billion people on earth have no decent toilet. So they release their fecal material in
the environment, which is a perfect spot for flies to take up bacteria like H. pylori."
     When flies are exposed to H. pylori in the lab, they pick up the infection. And outside? Flies caught in the wild
can also carry the bacteria.
     Peter Grubel, M.D., "Our preliminary data show that H. pylori is present in flies caught in the U.S. and Europe." Researchers still don't know whether H. pylori from a fly can directly infect a human. But since the invisible bacteria can live and thrive in the fly's stomach, it may be more important than ever to keep a fly swatter on hand.
      About 15 percent of people infected with H. pylori end up with an ulcer. H. pylori has also been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer.
For more information, contact:
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
Doctor Referral Line

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