Egypt is bracing for the arrival of highly toxic yellow-eyed scorpions.
Egyptians are being urged to prepare for a wall of scorpions, three of which are designated as dangerous, that will begin to appear in the coming days along the Dead Sea coast, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported.
“We expect these scorpions to arrive in our area by the end of this week … and move northward in spring,” Mamdouh Shaheen, an environmental official, told the paper.
Mosquitoes carry yellow-eyed scorpions to their hosts. In addition to not appearing friendly, the yellow-eyed scorpions can also bite, causing redness and blistering, with a sting painful enough to inflict numbness, the paper reported. They produce a corrosive acid that can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and mouth.
The scorpions can burrow into their hosts and if left alone will die naturally, but in certain circumstances there are signs of venomous behavior and a scorpion bite will become “one of the diseases that kills people,” said his wife, who added that the scorpions will require medication in order to survive, though they are “not dangerous.”
Scorpions have taken up residence in Egyptian homes in recent months after storms near the Mediterranean Sea are flooding the region.
While the scorpions have now moved on from the beaches, the bugs are expected to creep into areas along the Dead Sea’s shore before settling further out to sea. This, according to al-Ahram, will provide a home to another 600 scorpions for each square kilometer they cover, which could run into the thousands.
Residents who find themselves in danger are told to stay indoors with closed windows, and to wash their skin, but also to avoid contact with the scorpions, the paper reported.
A scorpion bite is dangerous, as the toxic acid is not only the sting that causes symptoms, but can cause skin irritation, burning, pain, redness and discomfort for several hours. If not treated within a day of a scorpion bite, the infection can spread to the heart, lungs and bloodstream, causing death.