Doctors warn of rove beetles’ attack

Physicians have warned of rove beetle’s attack because from early June, the Hospital of Dermatology in Ho Chi Minh City admitted around 80-100 patients who were suffering serious skin inflammation from rove beetles’ attack.

A man is attacked by rove beetle in the leg (Photo: SGGP)

A man is attacked by rove beetle in the leg (Photo: SGGP)

Arriving in the hospital for treatment because he has skin inflammation in his legs, La H., from a residential quarter in District 9,  said that many rove beetles appeared in his house lately in the evening.
Despite his carefulness in crushing the insect or touching a dead insect, his legs began to hurt the next day and medicine did not make it feel any better as the wound became red and swollen and the skin started flaking. He had to go to the hospital for treatment.
Many his neighbors have hospitalized after they were attacked by rove beetles which appeared in the evening.
The management board of students dorm in Thu Duc District has released a warning of rove beetle. The board encouraged students to clear bush and spray disinfectants to kill the insect following students’ complaint of appearance of the insect in the evening. Many students have been absent from classes as they were hospitalized.
Doctors have warned the public to be on alert for rove beetles as it is mid-autumn, the peak season for rove beetles, a very small insect that can penetrate the holes of a screen window and cause a very painful chemical burn mark about the size of a person’s palm when it is crushed on the skin.
Dermatologist Vu Thi Phuong Thao said rove beetles are categorized in the Coleoptera order of insects, with a body length of about 1cm and width about 2mm, and shaped like a termite, but colored orange-yellow.
Pederin can cause serious skin irritations if you crush the beetle the toxin is released and absorbed by your skin. Initial symptoms include reddening of the skin, and a 'burning' sensation. This is followed by painful irritation and itching, with extensive pustules and blistering of the skin. The affected areas remain irritated, blistered and sore for 10 days. Toxin on the hands, or exposure near body joints, can spread toxin to other areas of the body and to others.
Medical workers advised the public not to crush the insects if they are found inside the home, to avoid skin contact with its irritant, pederin but blow or use objects to remove the insect and refrain from crushing it, and wash their clothes thoroughly and separately if stained with the pederin.
Physicians warned if exposed to rove beetle toxin, people should wash affected area immediately with soapy water, and then use cold compresses, antihistamines, or apply aloe vera to alleviate the symptoms on exposed areas.
Seek medical attention for severe skin reactions to the toxin.
Moreover, doctors suggested that people not leave their lights on when sleeping and keep their windows closed at night because screen windows cannot keep the insect out.

By SGGP staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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