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Friday, August 7, 2009

Scorpions

You may not be aware of it, but there are about 1,200 different known species of scorpions crawling around on earth. The poison is in the stinger on their tails and even though all of them are venomous, not all of the scorpions' stings are deadly.

Extremely dangerous scorpions which have caused several fatalities are: the Arizona bark scorpion (photo) which resides in the American southwest, the fat-tailed scorpion which is commonly found in North Africa and the Middle East and is very aggressive, and the Death Stalker which is native to both the northern and southern hemispheres of Africa and is proven to be lethal, while the Brazilian Yellow Scorpion is deadly to young children.

Scorpions live mostly in deserts and other warm, dry areas and they are usually active during night time. During the day, they hide out under rocks, shady places and underground holes, where it is dark and humid. A scorpion will only sting a person, when feeling endangered; most of the times it will try to run away. Still, it is best to try and avoid them.

When stung by a scorpion, there are a few things you can do:
- wash the area immediately with soap and water or antiseptic.
- apply a cold compress to relieve the swelling and pain.
- calm the patient in order to decrease the blood pressure and heart rate, which prevents the poison from spreading faster.
- apply a torque to the affected area below the heart lever, this slows down the absorption and delays the spreading of the poison.
- see a doctor immediately to receive proper treatment.

When vacationing in areas which are notorious for scorpions, be careful where you step and what you pick up. Check your luggage and watch your step: their sting is worse then their bite!

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