The second scorpion attack in the same week occurred last Saturday in the province of Córdoba, tragically leading to the death of a seven year old girl. Earlier that week Argentina saw its first scorpion related fatality of the year, another young girl Isabella Orellano, aged four passed away after being stung.
Isabella Sánchez Quevedo, was bitten on Saturday at Villa Carlos Paz, a tourist resort to the west of Córdoba. She was admitted to the local hospital and transferred to Córdoba’s Santísima Trinidad Children’s Hospital less than two hours after being a stung on her foot.
Despite spending more than 24 hours in intensive care and receiving various treatments she tragically passed away on Sunday. The cause of death was heart failure and respiratory complications. Isabella was the daughter of the municipal government secretary of Malagueño, Cristian Sánchez.
“In the Capital [Buenos Aires], there are two species of scorpions, the Bothriurus bonariensis and the Tityus trivittatus. The first is not harmful and has been in the area before the founding of Buenos Aires. Today it resides in some national parks and is very rare to find. The Tityus trivittatus is dangerous and is becoming increasingly common. Its sting can be fatal for those aged below five or six” explained biologist, Andrés Ojanguren.
Here are some government guidelines to prevent scorpion attacks.
- Inspect and shake clothing and footwear.
- Shake and check bedding before sleeping.
- Take care when examining drawers and shelves.
- Avoid walking barefoot in high risk areas.
- Put grills on drains around the house.
- Check the inlets and outlets of pipes, openings and crevasses.
- Put down draught excluders or mosquito netting over doors and windows.
- Repair and fill cracks in walls and roofs.
- Check underground piping, plumbing, basements, elevator shafts and wall cavities.
- Periodic cleaning of house surroundings.
- Control the trash to reduce the number of insects (spiders and cockroaches) that feed scorpions.
- Avoid accumulation of construction materials, rubble, firewood and fallen leaves, as these are common places where scorpions can accumulate. Avoid using your hands to clean up the debris.
- Keeping domestic poultry — ducks, geese and chickens are natural predators of scorpions.
- As a last resort and with expert advice, use low toxic pesticides with the aid of trained personnel. Never apply pesticides without having first followed the recommendations on prevention methods in the inhabited environment.
Scorpions can live in rural spaces (underneath tree bark, rocks and bricks) or urban spaces (basements, tunnels, stores and underground piping).
If stung, don’t try to treat it at home. Apply ice and quickly seek medical assistance and if possible bring the scorpion so that it can be identified.