1200px-Scorpion_Deathstalker_ST_07


The Israeli Yellow Scorpion is also known, rather melodramatically, as the Deathstalker. It delivers a painful sting which is not usually known to be fatal. (Photo by Ester Inbar on Wilipedia Commons)

Summer is here and people are spending more time outside — which makes this a good time to be aware that scorpions tend to “hide” in thick brush and in dark and isolated areas. It is recommended to wear gloves when working in the garden and closed shoes when walking around at night, outside, in areas with thick vegetation. While camping, it is better not to sleep directly on the ground and remember to shake out your shoes before putting them on.

“Scorpions can be divided into two types, black and yellow scorpions,” explains Dr. Todd Zalut, director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Shaare Zedek. “All bites can cause allergic reactions. While the bite from a black scorpion hurts a lot, the yellow scorpion has poisonous venom. People stung by a yellow scorpion may experience pain, swelling, tingling or numbness around the area of the bite. The person may have difficulty swallowing, blurred vision, roving eye movements, seizures, nausea, vomiting, respiratory distress, or agitation… Antivenom is one treatment option, however, it is only used in very severe cases since there is a potential for serious side effects.”

If you are stung by either type of scorpion please be sure to seek immediate medical attention. Have a safe and enjoyable summer.