Several news stories are trumpeting the fact that ISIS fighters have been struck by a flesh-eating disease: ISIS fighters hit by deadly ‘flesh-eating’ disease
“Karma” says one Tweeter. Divine retribution is also a theme in the classic War of the Worlds, in which alien invaders cannot be defeated by conventional military weapons, but in the end, the aliens succumb to a lowly germ.
So what lowly germ is attacking ISIS? As it turns out, it is a lowly protozoa, carried by the female sand fly, and there is rumored to be lots of sand where ISIS roams. The fly is from the phlebotomine genus, as in your friendly neighborhood phlebotomist who comes, like the sand fly, to take your blood.
Sand flies are known in the U.S. as “No-see-ums” because, though you feel their bite, the insect is so small (2mm or .08 inches) you hardly know what hit you. In the Middle East, within a few weeks of being bitten, a nasty open sore develops and spreads. If left untreated the protozoa might get into the bloodstream and damage internal organs and then that’s all she wrote. The disease is called Leishmaniasis, and is likely what the Bible referred to as leprosy.
Why would sand flies only bite ISIS? They do not, of course, they bite anyone they can and the disease is known in many parts of the world. In fact, Americans were afflicted as Fox News reported in 2012, “Military Pushes War on Sand Flies.” This headline elicits an entirely different response from the reader than the ones about ISIS; this headline assures us that the military is doing what it should do, “pushing war” and protecting the troops.
Fox also reports a typically American response to this ancient scourge. Ten thousand cans of OFF insect repellant? No, that makes entirely too much sense.
With funding from the Deployed War-Fighter Protection Research Program, a study was conducted:
“Their study “DWFP: A Battle Plan To Protect U.S. Troops From Harmful Insects,” in the November/December 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, evaluated the efficacy of a variety of insecticides.
To test them out, the researchers created their own sand fly colony, which will be used to develop and test new insecticides as well study sand fly resistance.”
So not ten thousand cans of OFF, but a study in which researchers breed their own sand flies and then bombard them with poisons. Perfect; not only expensive, but also a potential boon for chemical companies. I only hope they keep as tight a lid (literally) on their sand fly colonies as they do on their covert operations.