Document Detail

Indoor fire ant sting attacks: a risk for frail elders.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16538074     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: We have previously reported 10 indoor sting attacks by imported fire ants, most of which involved frail elderly people in the Southeastern United States. Since the range of these insects is expanding and attacks often attract media attention, we hypothesized that additional attacks of which we were unaware may have occurred and were reported in local newspapers. METHODS: We searched the archives from 1989 until 2004 of 182 US newspapers in fire ant endemic areas in 10 states. RESULTS: Ten additional cases of indoor fire ant sting attacks were reported in local newspapers between 1991 and 2004. This brings the total to 16 attacks on adults and four on infants. Most adult attacks occurred in long-term care facilities, but three involved hospitalized patients. Morbidity ranged from nightmares to death in seven adults. One of the infants died and two suffered long-term morbidity. Six of the 20 sting victims died within 1 week of the attack. Seven of the 10 attacks reported in newspapers did not result in significant medical consequences, as compared with only two of the 10 attacks in previously published reports. CONCLUSION: Increasing numbers of indoor fire ant sting attacks are occurring in the United States, and frail elderly people and infants are at risk. They should be removed from indoor areas where ants are present until the ants are eradicated.
Michael R Rupp; Richard D deShazo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of the medical sciences     Volume:  331     ISSN:  0002-9629     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Med. Sci.     Publication Date:  2006 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-15     Completed Date:  2006-04-13     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370506     Medline TA:  Am J Med Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  134-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Aged, 80 and over
Ant Venoms / toxicity
Child, Preschool
Frail Elderly*
Infant, Newborn
Insect Bites and Stings / mortality*
Middle Aged
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Ant Venoms

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