Venomous caterpillar sends teen to ER in terrible state

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A teen in Land O’Lakes, Florida, experienced what his mom said was “the worst pain he ever felt” after coming in contact with a venomous caterpillar. Fifteen-year-old Logan Pergola was doing volunteer landscaping work with his family on Saturday when he brushed a southern flannel moth caterpillar, often called a puss caterpillar, and it was dangerous.

“He instantly felt a sharp, stinging pain and his arm went numb. Within 5 minutes he was dizzy, had lost color, was complaining of the worst pain he had ever felt & his eyes weren’t super focused,” Pergola wrote about her son on Facebook. “We tried to wash it off and I applied some garlic (it pulls venom out usually with bug stings).” said his mother to read the terrifying details here, CBS.

The pain has been described by patients as similar to a broken bone or blunt force trauma. The reactions are sometimes localized to the affected area but are often very severe, radiating up a limb and causing burning, swelling, nausea, headache, abdominal distress, rashes, blisters, and sometimes chest pain, numbness, or difficulty breathing. Additionally, it is not unusual to find sweating from the welts or hives at the site of the sting.

Medical advice may be sought in case of contact with one. It is best if the venom from the spines is treated within hours of first contact. For first aid, it is recommended that the spines (if present) be removed by using cellophane tape. Some remedies, which are reported to have varying degrees of success, include ice packs, oral antihistamine, baking soda, hydrocortisone cream, juice from the stems of comfrey plants, or calamine lotion.