Deadly scorpion disease kills 3 in Egypt

By Raphael Rosenbaum, CNN

At least three people were killed and several injured in an eruption of deadly scorpion-borne disease in southern Egypt, state media reported on Thursday.

The incubation period for the epidemic starts with the appearance of a large stinger in people, often with symptoms like a “buzzy” sensation and swelling of the hands and arms, according to World Health Organization. In extreme cases, the disease has caused convulsions, confusion and convulsions.

Victims need immediate treatment for severe cases and those suffering from moderate-to-severe cases should seek treatment as soon as possible after the appearance of the animal’s mark, according to the World Health Organization. Those infected with the disease can spread it to another person when they fail to properly wash their hands after handling scorpions or venomous animals.

The disease, Burkholderia cepacia, appears in 30 countries worldwide and has killed nearly 500 people so far this year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, according to the Red Sea Health Authority, 3,452 cases have been reported in Egypt from January 1 through April 30, with 728 patients being admitted to hospitals, six of whom died. One of the victims, a 2-year-old boy, has been identified as a Burkholderia cepacia patient, while two other patients are diagnosed with hospital acquired pneumonia, which is caused by the transmission of microbes among patients with chronic infections.

No new cases of Burkholderia cepacia have been detected since April 30, according to the Red Sea Health Authority.

When to take precautions

Experts recommend that no one should handle scorpions alone and that people regularly wash their hands and insect bites.

Local specialists advise that victims should be isolated from other people for several weeks while they receive medicine, and they recommend wearing special clothing to protect skin.

Burkholderia cepacia should not be handled by children under 6 years old and individuals who are pregnant or have weak immune systems, according to the World Health Organization.

When it’s in the air, scorpions come in multiple species, the most common being the brown and yellow sticks commonly found in Egypt. However, people should not touch brown scorpions for their own safety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: World Health Organization

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