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Sunday, 12 October 2014

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Eight hundred 'insect bites' in six months

A record number of nearly 800 patients have sought treatment from government hospitals for venomous stings from insects during the first six months of this year, raising concerns among health officials." This has become a social, economic and health issue we can no longer ignore", Head, Toxicology, National Poisons Information Unit of the National Hospital, Dr Waruna Thilakeratne told the Sunday Observer.

"At present there is no category identification of insects that have venomous stings. We need to categorise them to identify their poisons for doctors to treat patients," he said.

The majority of patients are from the plantation sector. The highest number up to June were from Hatton, Nawalapitiya, Dickoya, Dehiattakandiya and Padaviya, while the largest number of bites occurred from January - June, a new study on wasp, hornets and bee stings, the first of its kind by the National Poisons and Information Unit, has revealed.

On the toxic effects of such stings on victims, he said, "Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. It needs immediate treatment. Seek help from the nearest government hospital".

 

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