Eight Midgal Haemek children get allergic reaction from caterpillars

Doctors at Emek Medical Center in Afula warn that this is the season for the caterpillar, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, which turns into a moth.

By
March 27, 2014 04:53
1 minute read.
A Magen David Adom ambulance.

Magen David Adom ambulance 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Eight pupils aged eight to 10 from Migdal Ha’emek on Wednesday suffered a serious reaction to the pine processionary, a caterpillar that feeds on pine trees. The allergic reaction – including swelling, a rash, and burns on the neck and upper chest – had to be treated with steroids.

Doctors at Emek Medical Center in Afula warned that this is the season for the caterpillar, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, which turns into a moth.

The hairs of the caterpillar larvae may cause harmful reactions in humans and other mammals. The caterpillars spend the winter in tent-like nests high in pine trees, and in the spring, they march in processions – with nose-to-tail columns – protected by their severely irritating hairs.

The allergic reaction can go on for days or even a week or two. Anyone who sees such processions should stay away and not touch them.


Prof. Menahem Retem, head of the allergy and asthma clinic at Emek, said the hairs contain venom that is very irritating to the skin and eyes. When the hairs enter the respiratory system, they can cause cough, nausea, and even shortness of breath. Anyone who has pine trees on his property should check them in the spring and bring in an expert to spray them if they are infected.

If there is any contact between humans and the hairs, remove them as fast as possible and go to a hospital emergency room for treatment with antihistamines, sometimes combined with steroids.

Related Content

Lab
August 31, 2014
Weizmann scientists bring nature back to artificially selected lab mice

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

Cookie Settings