Scorpion Sting Overview
Scorpions are a member of the Arachnida class and are closely related to spiders, ticks, and mites. Scorpions have two pincers, 8 legs and an elongated body with a tail composed of segments; they range in length from about 9 to 21 cm. The last tail segment contains the stinger (also termed a telson) that transmits a toxin to the recipient of a sting. Most scorpions are harmless. Although about 2000 species exist, only about 25-40 species can deliver enough venom to cause serious or lethal damage to humans. One of the more venomous or potentially dangerous species, especially for infants, young children, and the elderly in the United States is Centruroides exilicauda or bark scorpion. Contact with scorpions is usually accidental. Scorpion stings are painful, and they can be fatal, particularly to children. Scorpions may sting more than once; the stinger, located at the end of the tail segment is usually not lost or left in the person's tissue after a sting. About 11 to 17 thousand people are stung each year in the US.
Scorpions come in a variety of colors - from tan to light brown to black. Each has a long tail segment that contains a stinger. Scorpions are found in highest numbers across the southern United States and in arid or desert regions in most other countries. However, they can be found occasionally in most US states and in temperate regions of both South America and Africa and some even reside in cold climates. Scorpions hunt at night and hide along rocks or trees during the days. Homes built in arid or desert regions commonly have scorpions in them.
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