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Toddler With 'Scorpion Sting' Actually Took Meth

Newser, February 14, 2015

(NEWSER) – A toddler was treated in the hospital for a scorpion sting, but her tremors just wouldn't go away—until doctors realized that the trouble had actually been caused by the girl's ingestion of methamphetamine. The 17-month-old was then treated and discharged from the hospital, but her case doesn't appear to be an isolated one, LiveScience reports; indeed, a report from 1998 addresses the issue. The symptoms of a scorpion bite and the consumption of meth can be similar, a doctor notes; they "include some movement disorders, and movement of upper and lower extremities, and some foaming at the mouth." What's more, the area where Centruroides sculpturatus scorpions live in the Southwest overlaps with an area of reported high meth use, doctors note.

When the girl came into the hospital, she received anti-venom, which halted her salivation and involuntary eye movements. But tremors remained until her mother finally told doctors that the girl had been left alone with an aunt who was a meth user. Tests showed the girl had somehow consumed the drug, though how it happened isn't certain, according to a case report cited by LiveScience. Now, experts are looking into why the anti-venom helped at all.