Poisonous animals, scorpions, spiders and ticks, bite poisoning symptoms and first aid.

Italian scorpion Euscorpius italicus. Family Scorpionidae (Scorpions). This small scorpion with a black-brown body reaches a length of only 3-4 cm. On the front of the body, it has a pair of large, very large jaws. Four pairs of legs are connected to the body. The body consists of a wide head-chest part and a segmented abdomen, with which the tail is connected, moving in all directions. At the end of the tail there is a strong curved sting, which, by bending the back of the body, reaches and kills the victim. 

Poisonous animals, scorpions, spiders and ticks, bite poisoning symptoms and first aid.

These scorpions are common in the Mediterranean. Two other small representatives of the scorpion family, E. carpathicus and E. germanus. also found in South Tyrol and southern Switzerland. The most northern place where scorpions of E. carpathicus were observed. Lower Austria.

, which he catches in his pipe-like web. Distribution in Germany in the Odenwald Mountains and on the right bank of the Rhine; in France, in Switzerland, Italy and Dalmatia. The poison is not yet a precisely defined substance. Local and general health effects. Symptoms of Poisoning first, stitching and burning pains at the site of the bite, which becomes blue-red and swells. General symptoms may also appear: nausea, vomiting, headache, and mild fever. After about 3 days, these symptoms disappear, but the bite site may remain reddened and swollen for a long time.. Therapy local cooling compresses, cortisone ointments.

Karakurt, Latrodectus tredecimguttatus, Theridiidae family (Spider-web spiders).

Karakurt, or the black widow, is a small spider, reaching a size of only 7-10 mm with long limbs. The body is densely black in color, with 13 blood-red or orange-yellow dots on the back. Distributed in the Mediterranean. Most spider bites occur in the open, but these tricky creatures can lie in wait for you, for example, in the toilet, hiding on the underside of the seat or inside the toilet. Poison toxic proteins. The action of the release of acetylcholine and catecholamines was confirmed by experiments with animals.

Symptoms of Poisoning within 10 minutes the pain from the first almost imperceptible bite sharply intensifies. Swelling of the lymph nodes, an increase in blood pressure, shortness of breath and fears, sometimes associated with fear of death, impaired speech, perspiration on the face and cramps of the masticatory muscles, begin. Abdominal muscles can also harden strongly. Lack of appetite and sleep disturbance. First aid cooling compresses, peace. You need to see a doctor. Therapy against local manifestations cooling compresses. If there is, serum from the bite of spiders; pain analgesics; sedatives.

Apulian Tarantula (real), Lycosa tarentula, Lycosidae family (Wolf Spiders).

A brownish gray spider 3-5 cm in size with dark transverse stripes on the back. Tarantulas sleep during the day in minks 20–25 cm deep and go hunting in the evening and at night; he hunts insects on the run. Only in spring tarantulas are active during the day. Distributed in the Mediterranean, especially in Italy, in Sardinia and in Spain. The poison has not yet been investigated. The action is cytotoxic. Like a bitten tarantula, dancing a tarantella so as not to go crazy, they used to say so in the Middle Ages, believing that a frantic dance heals a spider bite. Symptoms of Poisoning a non-dangerous bite, not very painful, comparable to a bee sting. Therapy cooling compresses, otherwise symptomatic.

Forest tick (canine), Ixodes ricinus, family Ixodidae (Ixodidae, Ticks).

The eight-legged tick feeds on the blood of mammals, sometimes also the blood of humans. He has a piercing-sucking proboscis with hooks. Usually it has a size of up to 4 mm, a saturated tick can reach a size of 11 mm. Distributed from Northern Europe, Poland, Central and Southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the Alps (especially in Austria) to Croatia and Greece. Lives in humid areas in meadows and forests. The tick is not a poisonous animal, but it can transmit to a person two serious diseases: tick-borne spring-summer encephalitis virus, tick-borne borreliosis bacteria (Lyme disease).

The diagnosis of these diseases is recorded as a lethal course and long-term ailments (headache, paralysis, depressive states). 3-4 weeks after the bite, specific antibodies are detected in the serum of a bitten person. A blood sample of 5 ml is required in the first case, in the second case, 6 ml and 10 ml of serum or blood, respectively. For neurological manifestations, simultaneous collection of cerebrospinal fluid is recommended. With joint manifestations, joint puncture can also be examined..

Symptoms in the first case, the picture of the disease has a two-phase course.

1. After an incubation period of 3-14 days, flu-like ailments begin with fever, headache, abdominal pain and aching in the extremities. As a rule, these manifestations disappear within 4-6 days, which in many cases is the clinical conclusion of the disease picture..

2. In other cases (8-10% of infected), the second phase begins, starting after 4-5 days without malaise and characterized by high fever, severe headache, vomiting and paralysis. Although the tendency for involution is high, fatal cases still occur..

In the second case, severe prolonged pain around the site of a tick bite with an inflamed redness of the skin, on which a light red, outward-enlarging ring can form. In addition, the phenomena of disorders in the peripheral nervous system, chronic lymphocytic meningitis, inflammation of the joints.

First aid after recognition of the disease is no longer required. Caution should be exercised: during periods of particular tick activity (May, June, September), avoid known dangerous regions. Do not rest on the edges of the forest and on clearings. After walking or in the evening, inspect the surface of the body, especially in young children. Sucked ticks should be removed immediately, but this should be done carefully. It is best to act as if removing a splinter or spine. To take out the head of the tick from the skin with a sharp object (needle), without pressing on its body. Under pressure, bacteria in the intestine of the tick (carriers of tick-borne borreliosis, or Lyme disease) can enter the human body. After removing the tick, self-observation is necessary: ​​if the described symptoms appear, consult a doctor.

Therapy in the first case, with tick-borne spring-summer encephalitis, symptomatic measures must be taken, as with other viral diseases. In the second case, antibiotics (cephalosporin, tetracycline). Prevention with tick-borne spring-summer encephalitis, active and passive immunization is possible. Passive immunization: before tick exposure of 0.05 ml / kg KG-immunoglobulin against tick-borne encephalitis intramuscularly. After a tick bite in the first 3 days, 0.1 ml / kg KG-immunoglobulin against tick-borne encephalitis intramuscularly; after the third day, 0.3 ml / kg KG; this does not prevent the disease, but facilitates its course.

Active immunization is a culture vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis. In total, three vaccinations are recommended (1 ml of the vaccine intramuscularly), a second injection 4-6 weeks after the first, and a third injection one year after the first injection. The vaccination is well tolerated, flu-like symptoms are possible after the first injection; after the second injection, there are practically no adverse reactions. The first vaccine after 14 days provides 80% protection, the second is already 100%. After the third injection, immunity lasts 3 years. Against tick-borne borreliosis (Lyme disease), preventive immunization is not possible.

Based on the book Poisonous Animals.
Horst Altmann.

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