Text◆Huang Biwen “Ming Pao”
The weather is cool, and many outdoor enthusiasts are ready to climb mountains, camp, and enjoy forest bathing.
However, there have been a series of recent incidents in Taiwan where mountain friends were injured and even killed by swarms of bees. Earlier in Hong Kong, a staff member of the Fisheries and Conservation Department died after being stung by a wild bee.
Are wild bees particularly scary? What should you do if you encounter a snake bite while hiking?
(Hong Kong News) When it comes to bee stings, mountain climbing expert Zhong Jianmin said that regular mountaineers have generally tried to be stung by bees, and many mountaineers around them have had this experience.
Pay attention to snakes and insects and pay attention to injuries
Clinical toxicologist Feng Xianda also said, “People are stung by bees throughout the year and need to seek medical treatment in the emergency department. Taking some hospitals as an example, there is an average of one case per day.”
As we enter the peak hiking season, Feng Xianda reminds us that we must pay attention to the following types of snakes and insects and pay attention to injuries.
1. Bee stings can cause sensitization, dizziness, shock and death
People in the public have little knowledge about bees, and they often misunderstand that bee stings are equivalent to “being stung by bees.” In fact, bees are mainly divided into two categories, bees and wasps (also known as wasps); the former have less hair and are fatter, while the latter have more hair and are thinner.
Bee stings have barbed hooks. After stinging, the stings remain on the human skin, and the bees will die soon after. The wasp’s stinger has no barbs and can be stung an unlimited number of times. Since bee stings usually do not leave any stings on the skin of those seeking treatment in the emergency department, it is inferred that wasp stings are the main cause.
Symptoms: Swelling, difficulty breathing, can be life-threatening
Generally speaking, bee sting wounds will cause pain, burning and itching, and may appear red and swollen, forming small lumps, which usually subside after a few days. A small number of people will experience more serious allergic reactions, such as large-scale local swelling or even rash all over the body; or it may affect other organs, narrowing the trachea, causing difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, dizziness or anaphylactic shock. In severe cases, allergic reactions may occur. life threatening.
Suggestion: Squat down and protect your head while slowly escaping from a hard jam and scratching the stinger
When attacked by a swarm of bees, do not panic and run away. Squat down to protect your head, use clothing to cover your skin to reduce exposure, and leave slowly. Bees are particularly sensitive to sound and vibration. Do not make any noise or scream when hiking to avoid disturbing the swarm. . If you have an allergic reaction after being stung by a bee, you should go to the hospital as soon as possible.
If you encounter a bee sting and find a needle prick on the skin, the injured person can use a credit card or other hard card to scrape it away according to the direction of the needle insertion into the skin to reduce the risk of serious reactions caused by the venom in the venom sac on the needle prick penetrating into the body. . You can also apply cold compress to the wound for about 30 minutes to reduce pain and swelling.
2. If you develop fever and vomiting after a mosquito bite, seek medical advice immediately.
Mosquitoes that transmit diseases in Hong Kong mainly include Culex tritaenorhynchus and Aedes albopictus. The former can transmit Japanese encephalitis, while the latter causes dengue fever, which is common in Hong Kong, and a small number of chikungunya fever.
Symptoms: Itching, redness and swelling subside in 2 to 3 days
After being bitten by a mosquito, there will be itching and a little redness and swelling. You can apply anti-swelling ointment and it will subside in 2 to 3 days. If symptoms such as headache, fever, rash, vomiting or joint pain occur a few days later, it is possible that they were bitten by vector mosquitoes such as Culex tritaenorhynchus or Aedes albopictus, and the disease started after the incubation period. The patient should seek medical advice as soon as possible to reduce the risk of infection. Risk of complications and death.
Recommendation: Wear long-sleeved shirts to avoid mosquito spray and avoid water
Try to wear long-sleeved shirts when outing and hiking to avoid mosquito spray and water.
3. The venom sprayed by stink bugs can damage the skin and eyes and cause blindness.
Stink bugs mostly appear from June to mid-December, with a body length of about 12 to 17 mm. They usually lay eggs on the bottom of leaves or in the crotches of trees, and hatch into adults. Although stink bugs do not bite humans, they do carry venom sacs that can spray corrosive venom when frightened and can damage human skin.
Symptoms: Skin redness, swelling, heat and pain, recovery in 10 days
If the stink bug’s venom splashes onto the skin, it will cause redness, swelling, burning, pain and other symptoms. If treated promptly, recovery will usually take 8 to 10 days. However, if the venom splashes into the cornea, the consequences can be serious. It can not only cause inflammation, but also affect vision and even cause blindness. Therefore, you must seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Suggestion: remove the card or paper to prevent it from getting worn
To deal with stink bug eggs, you can wear gloves or use soft tools to gently remove them to avoid breaking through the eggs. If you encounter hatched stink bugs while hiking, you can use cards or paper to brush them away. If you are sprayed by venom, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
4. Cryptopterus releases toxins and damages the skin when beaten.
The cryptid looks like a termite, but it is a beetle, with a body length of about 7 to 10 mm, a black head, and orange-red and black colors below the abdomen. Many people will swat at insects when encountering them. However, cryptids do not bite or sting. Instead, slapping them causes them to release toxins in their bodies and harm human skin.
Symptoms: pain, itching or pustular blisters
The patient’s skin will feel burning, then painful and itchy, and even pustules or blisters may appear. Early treatment with ointments or oral medications will lead to recovery in a few days; however, if the wound is not treated properly, dense blisters will appear, which can easily spread to the skin near the wound, extending the healing period to more than 10 days, and the scars will be relatively large after recovery.
Suggestion: blow away or push away
Do not slap the insect, but blow it away or brush it away from the skin to reduce the damage caused by the venom.
5., 6. Invisible killers of mites and ticks take several days to develop symptoms
The body length of mites is about 1 to 2 mm, and that of ticks is about 3 to 6 mm. Both are like spiders with 8 legs. Both breed in warm, humid and weedy places, and are vectors for spreading diseases. The former spreads scrub typhus, and the latter spreads spotted fever. However, most people may not feel anything after being bitten, and the disease only develops after several days of infection. It is definitely an invisible killer.
Symptoms: Puncture-shaped skin ulcers, toe necrosis
Once bitten by a mite or tick, infection with scrub typhus or spotted fever can cause fever, headache, myalgia and other symptoms. There are no obvious symptoms in the early stage, but symptoms develop after a few days. Symptoms such as gouge-like skin ulcers or scabs often appear at the bite site, and nearby lymph glands are swollen and painful. If treatment is delayed, bacteria may invade the internal organs through capillaries and cause necrosis of fingers or toes, which may require amputation or even be fatal.
Suggestion: Seek medical attention immediately if your skin develops black scabs
Once you have the above symptoms, especially if black scabs appear on your skin after hiking, you must seek medical advice as soon as possible.
7. Don’t pull the leech too hard when it climbs up your leg to suck blood.
Leeches, also known as vampires, live in dense forests and mountain streams in the wild. Hong Kong leeches are generally 2 to 3 centimeters long and are easy to detect with the naked eye. They have a powerful sucker at the end. They feed on blood and detect warm-blooded animals through vision, smell, vibration and temperature.
During hiking, many people wear shorts and expose the skin of their legs. Once detected by leeches, they will climb up the hikers’ legs and bite them tightly with suckers to suck blood.
Symptoms: skin numbness, wound infection and inflammation
When leeches suck blood, they simultaneously release anesthetic, which numbs the skin, so many people are not aware of it immediately. Once there is a wound, it is susceptible to infection and inflammation.
Suggestion: Apply salt to stimulate loose mouth if infected by venom
Avoid washing your face or swimming in mountain streams. Once you encounter a leech, do not pull it out with force to avoid the suction cup remaining in the wound, causing the skin to tear and become infected, and the venom to remain in the skin and cause inflammation. You can apply salt to stimulate the leech to loosen its mouth.
8. Most snakes are timid and will fight back when threatened.
Most snakes are timid and only fight back out of fear and self-preservation when threatened. Venomous snakes are common in Hong Kong, including green bamboo snakes, rice shovel heads, gold-legged snakes, silver-legged snakes, etc. More than 90% of venomous snake bites in Hong Kong are caused by green bamboo snakes.
Symptoms: Different snake species have different levels of damage
The venom of different snake species has different harmful effects.
◆Green Bamboo Snake:The toxicity is mild, the wound will be painful immediately, and the wound will swell locally after a few minutes. If left untreated, blood poisoning may occur within a few hours. In severe cases, the bleeding may not stop and may be life-threatening.
◆Silver foot straps, gold foot straps:The pain is very mild, and there is no special redness or swelling, but its venom is a neurotoxin, which is extremely toxic and can suppress the central nervous system. If bitten without any treatment, breathing difficulties will occur a few hours later, leading to death from suffocation.
◆Rice shovel head:Wound pain, redness and swelling can occur. The most severe poisoning can last for 1 to 2 days. The venom can destroy human skin, subcutaneous fat, muscles, nerves and other tissues, causing skin necrosis. Therefore, after being bitten, you must pay attention to whether there is blood stasis and edema near the wound. The skin under the edema may be damaged by the venom and become necrotic at any time.
Suggestion: Take photos to identify snake species to help prescribe the right medicine.
When encountering a snake, stay calm, back away slowly, and keep at least 2 meters away from the snake. Once bitten by a snake, try to restrain your emotions and reduce large movements to prevent muscle contraction from aggravating the poisoning.
If your hand is injured, you can first use a triangle towel or belt to fix the wound at the level of the heart, and go to the hospital for treatment as soon as possible. The hospital has different serums designed to treat different snake venoms. Therefore, the injured are reminded to remember the appearance and color of the snake and take photos under safe conditions so that medical staff can identify the snake species and prescribe the right medicine.
Do not wear perfume and wear light-colored clothes Don’t touch the hiking pole randomly
Chen Weiqiang, vice president of the Hong Kong Pest Control Practitioners Association, said that even if the public does not know how to distinguish snakes and insects, they should know how to avoid dangers.
He offers the following tips for preventing snakes and bugs while hiking:
◆Wear light-colored clothes, not too bright, to reduce the risk of attracting swarms of bees
◆When using hiking poles, do not touch them everywhere to avoid touching beehives or snake habitats.
◆Do not spray perfume as the smell may attract insects
◆Comes with mosquito repellent containing DEET
Mountain climbing expert Zhong Jianmin believes that even if you are hiking for a short distance, you should have suitable hiking clothes and equipment, which is absolutely the most basic protection.
1.The backpack is light and close-fitting, reducing weight.
2.Lightweight, quick-drying, sweat-wicking and heat-dissipating sportswear paired with long pants to reduce skin exposure
3.Hiking hat can not only protect the sun, but also protect the head
4.Drink enough water to stay hydrated
5.Bring simple first aid supplies just in case