More people being bitten by red ants

Red ant and its victim

In the last one month alone, the National Dermatology Hospital in Hanoi has treated more than 1,300 people of insect bites, especially the highly poisonous red ant, said a hospital spokesperson on November 4.

In other hospitals in Hanoi, 10 people had skin tests done and four were treated for insect bites. Most people that were treated had been actually bitten by red ants, a highly poisonous insect.

The condition of many people bitten by red ants had worsened   because they mistook the rash to be a Herpes zoster infection, a viral skin infection characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often appearing in stripes.

Thinking this to be a similar rash, people treated it with lotions in an attempt to subside the rash swelling.

Vu Manh Hung, deputy director of the Hanoi Dermatology Hospital, said that people who are bitten by red ants will experience stinging blisters on open skin such as face, throat, or hands. Although it is not life threatening, people bitten by red ants usually suffer a painful skin rash.

These days, farmers harvesting their crops are confronted with all kinds of insects such as worms, moths and red ants, some of which can bite and leave behind painful rash.

Biologically though, red ants are very useful for farmers as they help in the cropping cycle, however their bite can prove highly poisonous to humans. 

By K. Nguyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

Other news