Bitten to death

2019-03-07 11:16:05

Marauding fire ants pose a risk to the bedridden residents of nursing homes in the southeastern US. A team led by Richard deShazo of the University of Mississippi has described two attacks on elderly patients—one of whom died (Annals of Internal Medicine, vol 131, p 424). The ants were found covering the victims, having swarmed up the legs of their beds. Their stings can provoke a fatal allergic reaction. Fire ants arrived in the US from South America 60 years ago and have since spread across the southeastern states. “Unfortunately, sometimes humans are identified as food sources,