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Things that donors know: is the cockroach dangerous to humans? Is the person dangerous to fix?

Gidi shares with us the controversy in his family: are cockroaches dangerous pests for health or just a nuisance? Another question: can cockroaches really survive a nuclear attack

American cockroach climbing on a sandwich. Image:
American cockroach climbing on a sandwich. Image:

"I remembered the invasion of the cockroaches, the black swarm that filled the darkness of the night with a spider's run, in all the cracks there were quivering whiskers, every crevice could have suddenly launched a cockroach, every crack in the floor could have spawned this black lightning, running with a mad rush..." So The writer Bruno Schulz describes the terror of the cockroaches that attacked his father. Indeed, the anxiety of cockroaches, Katsaridaphobia, is one of the most common phobias in the population and feeds a thriving industry of pesticides and traps. You don't need a scientific geek to shy away from nimble brown creatures that break out of the sewers at night and come for a walk on the food in the kitchen. But is there, apart from disgust, also a danger in them?

Surprise: among the insects that visit us in the summer: the flies, mosquitoes, fleas and their friends, the cockroach is actually not considered a serious disease carrier. Since our relationship with the cockroach is through the food on which it spends the night, it is appropriate to compare the damage from it to that of its friend the fly that travels in the same places during the day. Flies are known to transmit dangerous intestinal diseases from cholera to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori which causes stomach ulcers. On the other hand, no epidemic outbreak of any kind due to cockroach activity has been reported so far. The reason for the difference is in the different anatomy of the two creatures, the cockroach is quite similar to us in eating habits, it bites the food, chews and swallows it. The way he can contaminate is by the contact of his feet with the food. In fact, there is no significant difference between a cockroach walking on the food and touching the food with a dirty hand. The fly, on the other hand, completely lacks the ability to bite and chew, it can only pump food into its stomach in the liquid state of accumulation. When a fly stands on the slice of cake, it is forced to vomit the contents of its stomach onto the food, let the digestive juices dissolve it, and then re-suck the mixture inside. Because that way the food gets much more bacteria. If you, Gidi, wave away a fly that sat on the food and continue the feast, then the cockroach that climbed on it at night should not bother you. However, studies show that cockroaches do carry bacteria on their bodies that may cause infection. The situation is problematic in hospitals where bacteria resistant to antibiotics were found in the bodies of cockroaches caught in the inpatient wards. When I was collecting material for the answer, my attention was drawn to an article published in the "Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering" (Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering) in which the author, Dr. Vahabi, reports on bacteriological tests for 450 cockroaches caught in two hospitals in the northwest the state Most of the cockroaches were contaminated with coliforms originating from the secretions of the hospitalized. Some of the cockroaches for the study were collected using traps but most were taken "directly". Somehow the idea that our enemies from the east have at their disposal not only ballistic missiles and enriched uranium but also people who are able to hunt 450 cockroaches in hospital corridors worries me no less than the parades of the Revolutionary Guards. Other studies confirm the expected: cockroaches that spend their lives in kitchen cabinets pollute less than those that spend their lives in sewer pipes.

Allergy to cockroaches

 And yet the cockroaches are indeed harmful but not as pollutants. It turns out that many of us are allergic to the secretions of cockroaches, among children the cockroach is the main cause of allergy among domestic animals more than the enemy cat and even more than the infamous dust mite. About half of asthma patients are allergic to cockroaches and it seems that exposure to cockroaches in childhood is a risk factor in the development of the disease. A rare but documented injury from cockroaches is Herpes Blattae - sores in the corner of the mouth caused by the gnawing of cockroaches that climb on the faces of sleeping or unconscious people. In particular, the phenomenon was observed in children whose cockroaches were attracted to the milk emitted from their mouths at night.

But some see the cockroach as a health benefit. If traditional Chinese medicine is to be believed, the extracted extracts have curative properties in infectious diseases, cancer, gastric ulcer and more. There are researchers who try modern extraction methods to isolate active substances and examine the upgraded traditional medicines (such as Kangfuxin) To alleviate side effects of radiation treatments in cancer patients. The reported results are good, although it is hard to imagine a western doctor recommending cockroach extract to his patients.

And another question from cockroaches above XNUMX: should we all be afraid of the Iranian bomb or are only the humans in danger, while the cockroaches will survive. Or is the cockroaches' resistance to a nuclear explosion a myth and our brown friends are also brothers to the nuclear trouble?
    Well, T., even in the face of the threat of the bomb, Yoram is careful about Hebrew: the Hebrew name for the cockroach popular on summer nights, the American wanderer in Latin, is "American cockroach". "Ticket" because the female lays a bag with eggs in it, and "American" in honor of our friend across the ocean.

Despite my fondness for busting myths, I must admit - the story about the cockroaches' resistance to radiation is true. Exposure to ionizing radiation is measured in REM units. The lethal dose of radiation for a person is 800 REM, while that of a cockroach (of the large dark type called the American cockroach (Periplaneta Americana) is 67 thousand REM, almost a hundred times. By the way, the "German" cockroach (the small, yellowish "cockroach") can Survive even radiation of 90 thousand REM.

So what is the meaning of the mysterious resistance of cockroaches to atomic bombs? The truth is that not only cockroaches, but insects in general, are less sensitive than us to radioactive radiation. This is because there are fewer dividing cells in their bodies. The cell is particularly sensitive to radiation during the division process (therefore radiation is effective against a cancerous tumor in which the cells divide rapidly). Insects have a rigid exoskeleton, so their bodies can only grow when they go through "rolling" which is accompanied by molting. In the body of an adult insect that has reached its final size, the cells do not divide, so its sensitivity to radiation is low. Add to this the fact that the cockroach's body is covered with a hard sheath, that it lives in relatively protected burrows and crevices, and that its reproduction rate is enormous (a few survivors will be able to replenish the population quickly) - and the matter is not so mysterious.
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3 תגובות

  1. to "Yaden"
    If you continue to write scrolls, I will continue not to read!!!
    Shorten, be concise and then maybe it will be readable.
    Be short, be concise, and only the main thing.

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