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Egypt: 3 dead, hundreds injured after scorpion swarm in Aswan

A picture taken on April 7, 2014 shows the train station of the southern Egyptian city of Aswan [AHMED EL-MOGHRABI/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on April 7, 2014 shows the train station of the southern Egyptian city of Aswan [AHMED EL-MOGHRABI/AFP via Getty Images]

Three people have died and almost 500 were injured following a scorpion swarm in Egypt's southern city of Aswan caused by thunderstorms since Friday, bringing many of them onto the streets and into peoples' homes. Many of the attacks occurred in the mountainous areas of the governorate.

A representative from the Ministry of Health told Egypt's Al-Ahram that 89 people were hospitalised at Aswan University Hospital, with hundreds of others receiving treatment in nearby hospitals. It has also been reported that doctors have been recalled from vacation in order to treat the scorpion stings. Additional doses of anti-venom have also been allocated to medical centres in more remote locations.

On Friday, Aswan's governor Ashraf Attia temporarily barred ships on the River Nile and Lake Nasser from travelling too close to the city. He also ordered the temporary closure of some roads due to reports of reduced vision caused by the storms. Road and vessel traffic resumed on Saturday.

Local residents have been advised to stay away at home and avoid places with many trees. A combination of heavy rainfall, dust storms and rare snowfall has heightened fears of the possibility of floods.

Egypt's fat-tailed scorpions are considered to be among the most deadly in the world. Venom from a black fat-tail can kill humans in under an hour if left untreated. Symptoms related venomous scorpion stings can include difficulty breathing, muscle twitching and unusual head movements.

Update 16 November 2021 at 11.12 GMT: Egypt's Ministry of Health said no one was killed by scorpion stings, as had originally been reported.

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