"Centipede bite kills pregnant woman and baby"

barabootom

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It's all speculation so it's not fair to blame the centipede. And if it's some kind of rare reaction to centipede venom that normally isn't serious, it could just as well have been a house spider causing those rare symptoms. Has anyone ever recorded such serious reactions to centipede venom before? My youngest son gets a mosquito bite and he swells up like a balloon and blisters. I wouldn't be so quick to blame the pede just because it was in the vacinity.
 

Draiman

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Has anyone ever recorded such serious reactions to centipede venom before?
No offence, but you don't seem very well informed on centipedes.

There have been a few cases of death from centipede bite, and at least one was documented, recorded and confirmed: a Turkish man who died after a bite from a Scolopendra (most likely S. cingulata) in 2005.

There's also the incident of a 7-year-old Filipino girl who died after a bite from a Scolopendra subspinipes, although this wasn't confirmed.

Also:

my buddy went to the hospital and almost died from an alternans bite :)

he's a big, tough guy, too. ~200 lbs, hikes a lot, etc
his blood pressure was so low 30 minutes after the bite the medicos had a hard time finding veins to spike to administer drugs
Also, I have a pdf article detailing a medical account of a Scolopendra heros bite. Here is an excerpt:

"The patient was able by description and pictures to identify the centipede that bit her right foot as a giant desert centipede, S. heros. Myonecrosis, anterior and lateral compartment syndromes and subsequent peroneal neuropraxis of the right leg developed as a consequence of envenomation by a giant desert centipede. Acute renal failure can be attributed to muscle injury and myoglobinuria in this circumstance as supported by the laboratory findings and subsequent course. To our knowledge, this represents the first documented case of rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure due to the bite of S. heros. This patient had significant morbidity as a consequence of S. heros envenomation. The toxin induced not only local pain and swelling but myonecrosis with associated increases in the compartmental pressures in the leg, which led to compromise of neurologic function. Finally, acute renal failure due to rhabdomyolysis created a life-threatening condition that the
patient fortunately survived."


Also from the same article:

"There is little known about the precise components of the Scolopendromorph venoms, but hemolytic phospholipase A, serotonin and a cardiotoxic protein have been described in some species. Furthermore, the toxin of the Scolopendra genus has been termed "cytolysin," referring to its ability to lyse cells."
 

Cheshire

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Really with out more hard data on the victim we are wasting our time posting speculation. The realish conclusion(s) is that she (A)wasn't bit by a centipede at all, and died from something else. (B) was bitten by a centipede but cause of death was not directly linked/due envinomation but instead secondary causes, ie. domino effect. (C) The darn thing killed her, but this is probably the least likely answer given the odd symptoms the victim exhibited.

So until "we" have more data, which we likely wont, this will sit in the "WOW, that is weird, but how on earth?" area. The bottom line, we don't know and probably never will cause we would need more data to draw at least accurate conclusions.

Cheers,
Very good. :)

If you wanted to convince me that the centipede killed her, you'd need to at the very least demonstrate the presence of venom in the victim's bloodstream and that the symptoms could be caused by the venom.

The printed material doesn't do any of these things and so is utterly unconvincing.
 

barabootom

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No offence, but you don't seem very well informed on centipedes.
No offense Draiman, but you need to learn how to read. I never said a centipede can't kill or that they don't have strong venom. I merely stated finding a centipede hours or a day later doesn't mean the centipede was the culprit. Look at the timeline in the article you posted.

Timeline:

1. 8 pm. A bite, thought to be from an ant (not a big bite)
2. 4 hours later the victim has a fever. (Very delayed symptoms, not usually the case in a centipede bite, which usually causes immediate intense pain.
3. A worker later finds a small centipede in the bed.
4. Several days later the victim dies from blood poisoning and shock.

I would understand the above to mean...possibly a centipede, possibly not. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I also questioned the symptoms, because in the bite reports I've read, I never read anything about bleeding from the gums, nose and fingernails. That sounds extreme.

Your second post mentioned the following documented symptoms.
1. Acute renal failure
2 Rhabdomyolysis
3. Myonecrosis
4. Cytolysin

Acute renal failure does not cause bleeding from the gums, nose and fingernails that I'm aware of. Nor does Rhabdomyolysis. Myonecrosis cause necrotic muscle damage usually near the bite. I suppose it could cause bleeding throughout the body. I really don't know. Show me where you can find that info. Cytolysin would be similar to Myonecrosis.

I believe it is much more probable, as earlier mentioned, that the fetus poisoned her. Probable means maybe, just in case you didn't know.

Did the fetus die from the bite? I don't know. Did the fever kill the fetus? I don't know. Was the fever caused by the bite? I don't know. Did bacteria kill the victim, which was introduced by a bite? I don't know. Can you answer any of the above Draiman? I know the answer to that. NO. :)
 

barabootom

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Draiman, I do not believe centipede bites are usually considered life threatening, although they can be serious. If I'm wrong tell me. The size of the animal and the amount of venom has a lot to do with how serious a bite can be. Deaths are rare. Serious to me means life threatening. I believe you misunderstood my comparison of bleeding from the gums, nose and fingernails for days leading up to death as compared to extreme pain, swelling and possible necromancing near the bite. To me one is serious and one is discomfort. There is also the issue witht he size of the centipede, which is stated as being small. Was the death caused by the centipede? Maybe. Was the death not caused by the centipede? Maybe.
 
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Draiman

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Where in any of my posts did I support the article in its blaming of the centipede for the deaths? :?

You are the one who should learn to read, because you completely misunderstood my post (in response to yours). I gave you those examples (of the Turkish man and the effects of the S. heros bite) SOLELY because you posted this:

Has anyone ever recorded such serious reactions to centipede venom before?
Therefore I gave you those examples to demonstrate that yes, there are others who have had similarly serious reactions to centipede venom.

Then you got all defensive and hostile, when all I did was answer your question? Very mature.

With regards to whether the centipede actually killed the lady and her child - when I started this thread, I never took a stand on whether I agreed or disagreed with the article, and it is the same now, since as others have mentioned, we don't have enough information to draw any valid conclusions. Re-read my original post:

An interesting, albeit tragic, news story I came across today.
Note my use of the word "interesting"? Does that not give you the slightest hint that I was and am not completely convinced by the article?
 
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barabootom

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Where in any of my posts did I support the article in its blaming of the centipede for the deaths? :?

You are the one who should learn to read, because you completely misunderstood my post (in response to yours). I gave you those examples (of the Turkish man and the effects of the S. heros bite) SOLELY because you posted this:



Therefore I gave you those examples to demonstrate that yes, there are others who have had similarly serious reactions to centipede venom.

Then you got all defensive and hostile, when all I did was answer your question? Very mature.

With regards to whether the centipede actually killed the lady and her child - when I started this thread, I never took a stand on whether I agreed or disagreed with the article, and it is the same now, since as others have mentioned, we don't have enough information to draw any valid conclusions. Re-read my original post:



Note my use of the word "interesting"? Does that not give you the slightest hint that I was and am not completely convinced by the article?
But your examples don't mention bleeding from the gums, nose and fingernails, so how is that similarly serious to the article you posted? Bleeding from the gums, nose and fingernails is not a symptom of a centipede bite I've ever heard of. I'd like very much to see that. I would find that very interesting. Those are the unusual symptoms mentioned in the article.

For your information I wasn't hostile. If I was I can assure you it would be very very obvious. I did defend my statements, which you completely misunderstood.

And I guess you're right, I did misunderstand your post as well. But the main point of my post was, don't blame the centipede. So if you're going to call me poorly informed in the first line of your post immediately following mine, maybe you should be a little more clear on what I'm being called poorly informed about.

Touché!! And that's in fun of course. :)
 

Draiman

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But your examples don't mention bleeding from the gums, nose and fingernails, so how is that similarly serious to the article you posted?
Well, they did at least answer your question about "serious reactions" to centipede venom, and that was all that post (post #22) was meant to do, but you mistook those examples I cited as me trying to present them as parallels to this incident, which was not the case. :)
 

barabootom

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Well, they did at least answer your question about "serious reactions" to centipede venom, and that was all that post (post #22) was meant to do, but you mistook those examples I cited as me trying to present them as parallels to this incident, which was not the case. :)
And you are absolutely correct. Sorry my first post sounded harsh. It really wasn't meant to be. And I'm very glad you posted the article because I find it extremely interesting. Thanks. :clap:
 

BCscorp

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Centipede venom isnt even fully studied right? the 'pede that bit her may not even be identified on any level too..right?
So any reaction is possible.
The article doesnt say "bit by an ant and she felt nothing for four hours..." maybe there was pain before the swelling head.
clearly something bit her and tragically she and baby died.
 

barabootom

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Centipede venom isnt even fully studied right? the 'pede that bit her may not even be identified on any level too..right?
So any reaction is possible.
The article doesnt say "bit by an ant and she felt nothing for four hours..." maybe there was pain before the swelling head.
clearly something bit her and tragically she and baby died.
You're correct. There's a lot of study still required for centipede venom, esp considering how many different species there are. I would also argue, the centipede may have been a new specie. The article just doesn't say enough. What does small mean. Around my house centipedes don't get much bigger than an inch, so small means less than that. However, in the tropics some centipedes grow 8-10 inches +. So small could mean 4 inches in this case, but likely a bite like that wouldn't be confused with an ant bite. But then, some ants sting and produce horrible reactions and pain as well. I hope they eventually write more about the case.
 

Michiel

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Those symptoms are strange?....
No, they point in the direction of anafylactic shock (due to allergy to the centipede venom) and blood poisoning. The latter could be because the bite mark got septic or infected, but this is a hypothesis (about the blood poisoning). This happens quickly in tropical countries. Even minor cuts and wounds can get infected very quickly.
 

Draiman

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The death was caused by NF, not the centipede bite, any minor cut could have caused the same.
Um yeah, too bad it had to get infected, but it was technically still a "serious reaction" to the bite, which was all that post was about. Do I have to explain this again?
 

cacoseraph

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The death was caused by NF, not the centipede bite, any minor cut could have caused the same.
+1
(dear lord!)









something to consider... when i get stung by harvester ants just about everything else that bites or stings me is worse. scorpions that normally i can barely feel actually hurt, everything makes me swell more, and everything takes longer to get back to normal. even centipede bites...






also, the immediate pain from centipede bites is not the part that sucks. i have never felt it, beyond a very tiny ~1/10 of a bee sting sensation. even from the gnarly pedes that have gotten me. the part the sucks is the boneache that starts 20-60 minutes after the envenomation. that hurts... pretty badly =P oh and full bore lymph node swelling SUCKS!

bad bites or a huge venom load can have affects days later. the first time i got bit i let ~6" S. polymorpha bite me for like 2-3 minutes. my arm was still swollen something like 8 days later
 
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