16 January, 2012

A Centruroides sting case on an airport

Ricardo Lobo and co-workers recently reported about a six year old girl being stung by a scorpion when disembarking from an airplane at the Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil. The scorpion was caught and later identified as Centruroides testaceus (DeGeer, 1778) (Buthidae). The girl was returning from a visit in Curacao (Caribbean) where she had visited a park. The scorpion had probably entered her backpack which she carried as hand-luggage on the plane and later climbed out and stung her.

The girl only showed local symptoms and quickly improved, and was given minimal treatment. She was discharged from the hospital after two hours of monitoring.

This is not the first case of scorpion sting happening on a plane or airport and shows that airplanes may be a gateway for the introduction and spread of different species.

Describes the case of a 6-year-old girl who was stung by a Centruroides testaceus, a scorpion native to the Lesser Antilles, in the Guarulhos International Airport, São Paulo, Brazil, as she disembarked from a flight coming from the Caribbean. The patient presented only local symptoms (a small area of erythema and pain at the sting site), which were resolved after a few hours with analgesics, without the need for antivenom. Physicians who treat patients stung by scorpions should be alert to the possibility of such accidents being caused by non native species, especially those cases that occur near airports or ports.

Lobo RA, Goldoni PA, Souza CA, Medeiros CR. Accident caused by Centruroides testaceus (DeGeer, 1778) (Scorpiones, Buthidae), native to the Caribbean, in Brazilian airport. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2011;44(6):789-91. [Free fulltext]

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