A tragic incident unfolded last week in Brazil when a three-year-old girl lost her life after being stung by a scorpion. The toddler, Maria Fernanda Brito da Silva, was asleep when the venomous creature crawled under her clothes and stung her. Despite receiving immediate medical attention at the Hospital Regional de Mato Grosso do Sul in Campo Grande, Maria succumbed to a cardiac arrest on October 1.
Maria was stung on September 25 at her residence in Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil. The local health department, Sesau, expressed their deep regret and sorrow over the unfortunate incident. The city officials of Ribas do Rio Pardo also released a statement mourning the loss of the young life.
The mother of the deceased, Vanessa Ramirez da Silva, recounted the horrifying incident. She described the moment she saw the scorpion on her daughter’s back, stating that the image would forever be etched in her memory. Despite being in pain, Maria managed to show her mother that the scorpion had landed on her shirt. Vanessa then killed the scorpion and immediately sought help as Maria began to vomit. A neighbor assisted the family in getting to the hospital.
The incident is not the first scorpion encounter for the family. Vanessa’s brother and her five-year-old son had previously been stung by scorpions. The state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where the family resides, has reported over 3,000 scorpion-related incidents this year alone.
Maria’s funeral was held on October 2. Her grandmother, Cleide Cristina Ramirez, expressed her grief, describing the pain as “infinite”. She praised her daughter Vanessa, a single mother, for her resilience and dedication to her children.
The city of Ribas do Rio Pardo has seen an alarming increase in scorpion attacks. Since the beginning of the year, 38 people have been stung by scorpions, a significant increase from the 33 attacks recorded last year. In August, a five-year-old boy from the same city died after being stung by a scorpion hiding in his shoe.
Experts have noted that scorpions in Brazil have adapted to urban environments, finding refuge in sewers, garbage, and rubble. The yellow scorpion, Tityus serrulatus, is considered the most dangerous scorpion in South America.