Misiones: Alarm by the appearance of a caterpillar poisonous
February 16, 2013
About 80 people from the town Jardín América in Misiones province should receive medical attention during January by the appearance of a poisonous caterpillar that caused the alarm officials provincial Ministry of Health.
The striking number of cases included not only residents of this village, but also from Puerto Leoni, General Urquiza and Hipólito Yrigoyen.
Among those affected were several children between 1 and 7 years old who had severe pain, skin rash, irritation and itching, some of whom were hospitalized.
In this situation the authorities of the local medical center informed the provincial health portfolio on the facts, so that in the coming hours they will travel to Jardín América for relevant studies.
The head of Venomous Animals Program of the Ministry of Public Health, Robert Stetson, identified the caterpillar as “a species of Megalopyge, family and order lepidoptera megalopygidae”.
He added that this could be the Megalopyge opercularis, and one of the samples survived and could become butterfly for further identification.
The report sent to the hospital of the town notes that “the venom of the species of this genus are neurotoxic and can cause severe pain, which may radiate beyond the affected area, headache, dizziness, tightness retrosternal pseudoparalysis, edema restricted”.
Most of those affected require strong painkillers and other drugs, and hospitalization.
These worms are typical of subtropical regions and after the modification of the environment many species move to urban areas and cultivated areas; they produce significant injuries, but not fatal.