Multiple Sightings Of Highly Venomous Caterpillars In US State Of Virginia
Hey, guess what? The fates have once against conspired to make this wretched year even more alienating and confusing.
This time, they've had a spin of the wheel of 2020 fortune and it has landed on...hairy venomous caterpillars.
That's right, there is such a thing, and they've been spotted by several people in the US state of Virginia.
Basically, it looks like a tiny little discarded wig, but you seriously don't want one of these to drop onto your head.
It's called the puss caterpillar and it has long been considered one of the most venomous caterpillars in the world.
Seriously, hands up, who actually knew that you could get venomous caterpillars? This f***ing year, guys.
Anyway, the puss caterpillar has been spotted on multiple occasions in 'parks or near structures' in the eastern part of Virginia, and you should be keeping your distance.
That's what the Virginia Department of Forestry is telling folks, at the very least.
So, in amongst that furry - and incredible bizarre - coat that the caterpillar has, there are secreted a number of venomous spines that can cause you to be fairly ill.
Theresa Dellinger, who works at Virginia Tech university as a diagnostician in their Insect Identification Lab, explained to CNN: "There are little hollow hairs in that fluffy, hairy material,
"It's not going to reach out and bite you, but if someone brushes up against that hair, it'll release toxins that you'll have a reaction to."
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That reaction she talks about can be anything including an horrific rash, vomiting, swollen glands, and fever.
Oh, and apparently it's incredibly painful. One resident described the experience as like a scorching hot knife.
The puss caterpillar isn't usually found in this part of the USA, but much further south or in the mid-west. However, potentially due to the changes of climate, it is now venturing into Virginia.
The scientists are looking into this closely and aren't too bothered about the population blowing up, because they hope natural predators will take care of that for them.
That being said, if they think it's getting out of hand, they'll have to step in.
In the meantime, Dellinger advises anyone who has been stung by one to treat it like a bee sting.
She said: "If someone is susceptible to bee stings, treat it like one,
"Go ahead and seek medical treatment, if you have had bad reactions to other insects in the past."
The scientist also reckons you should rinse the area around the sting with water and monitoring the situation.
If it's really painful, head on over to the hospital.
How about we all just stay away from it, perhaps?
Featured Image Credit: Virginia Department of Forestry
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