(CMR) More than 500 people were treated at hospitals in Egypt over the weekend after heavy rain and hail flooded the city of Aswan, forcing highly venomous scorpions from their hiding places into people's homes.
Acting Health Minister Khalid Abdel-Ghafar said in a statement that no deaths were reported from scorpion stings. Everyone who visited hospitals was treated and released.
Aswan, a city of about 1.5 million people, is home to the Androctonus crassicauda scorpion, a Greek name that means “man-killer.” Though not aggressive under normal circumstances, the scorpion is considered one of the most toxic on Earth, capable of killing an adult within an hour of being stung.
Hospitals near the mountains and deserts where the scorpions reside have been given extra doses of anti-venom.
Aswan is a typically dry region, receiving an average of 3 mm of rain annually. Over the weekend, there was between 12 and 15 mm of rain, enough to flood streets and create major damage to infrastructure and farms.
Usually, Scorpion stings send about 100 people to Aswan's medical centers daily; however, the numbers increase when there are heavy storms.