Egypt’s Storms and Scorpions

Egypts Storms and Scorpions

Flooding and storms in Aswan, one of the largest cities in the southern region of Egypt, has led to three deaths and mass scorpion attacks. Due to flash floods, scorpions were swept from the deserts by rainwater, coming in contact with humans. 

The most common type of scorpion there is the Egyptian fat-tailed scorpion, one of the most deadly in the world. Their toxic venom can kill an adult within an hour, the person experiencing high fever, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea and severe pain. Soon after, people have been treated with anti-venom. It is supposed to prevent symptoms but can also work in the early stages of being stung.

However, reporters say that there were hundreds of a different kind of scorpion, the deathstalker. The species is currently unknown, but so far they have stung 503 people. They also report that over 103 homes have been destroyed from flooding. There is probably much more destruction unaccounted for. 

The three people who died were initially said to have been stung, but residents argued that they were “three soldiers at a police camp who had been electrocuted in the flooding from fallen wires.”

Even though scorpions are deadly, their venom can be useful for medicine. Dr. Abdel-Rahman, who specializes in finding the scientific and medical uses for venom, says, “I’m very, very sad when people kill scorpions because the venom of scorpions is very rich and useful.” One gram of scorpion venom, requiring as many as 3,000 scorpions, can be exported for around $8,000. They are currently being used and studied for cancer treatment. 

Aswan sadly has had to deal with weather and scorpion issues for a number of days. Although scorpion stings are not uncommon in Egypt, 503 cases in one night is appalling. People are encouraged to stay home and avoid places with many trees in order to prevent being stung.