Heat increases risk of accident with scorpion: see precautions

Scorpion accidents have been an alarm for this time of year. In 2018 alone, about 141,400 cases were recorded across the country, according to the Ministry of Health.

The hot and humid summer climate contributes to the proliferation of the animal, which usually hides under rocks, debris, dry leaves, clothes and shoes. Places with a large accumulation of waste have also become a new habitat, as the arachnid feeds on cockroaches, found in this waste.

This proliferation in cities is related to the fact that the animal has adapted to the urban environment, where it finds shelter, food and few predators. The incidence of attacks is also linked to the devastation of the Atlantic Forest, which causes the animals to migrate to more populated areas.

Among the most dangerous species, and common in the country, is the yellow scorpion ( Tityus Serrulatus ), being considered the most poisonous in South America and the biggest cause of accidents.

Scorpion bites often cause redness, swelling, tingling and local pain. In more serious situations, it is possible that the person suffers from nausea, vomiting, tremors and increased heart rate.

What to do in cases of scorpion bite?

In case of an accident, the recommendation is to go immediately to a nearest referral hospital (check list here ). However, there are measures that can be taken before (or even) going to the doctor:

  • Wash the bite with soap and water;
  • Stay in a lying position, keeping the location of the bite elevated;
  • Drink plenty of water.

If possible, it is important to take the animal to the hospital – or at least a photo of it – to ensure a more effective diagnosis of the severity of the accident, according to the species of the arachnid.

Hospital treatment consists of pain relief and administration of antivenom. Anti-scorpion serum is available only in reference hospitals of the Unified Health System (SUS), and are not distributed to private hospitals.

Learn how to avoid accidents

Scorpions are nocturnal animals that seek hiding places during the day. Some ways to prevent its proliferation are:

  • Avoid accumulation of rubbish and rubble in backyards;
  • Keep the sewer box and drains sealed;
  • Eliminate insects that are prey to scorpions, such as spiders, cockroaches and crickets;
  • Move beds, cribs away from walls and prevent blankets or sheets from touching the floor;
  • Always examine towels, clothes and shoes before using;
  • Keep the grass trimmed;
  • Wear boots and gloves to handle construction materials;
  • Avoid placing your hand in holes or under rocks;
  • Keep the garbage bags tightly closed so as not to attract cockroaches;
  • Avoid using pesticides, as the product has no proven efficiency for controlling the animal.

According to the Ministry of Health, training in the identification and management of scorpion control is already taking place across the country. But it is important to take preventive measures to prevent an increase in the number of accidents.