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    Fire Ant Stings - Topic Overview

    Fire ants are wingless insects that belong to the same family of insects as bees and wasps. Fire ants are found in the southeastern and south-central United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers.

    A fire ant attaches itself to a person by biting with its jaws. Then, pivoting its head, it stings from its belly in a circular pattern at multiple sites. Symptoms of a fire ant sting may include:

    • A painful raised bump that becomes a pus-filled blister in 6 to 24 hours and lasts for up to 10 days.
    • Skin at the bite site that dies and leaves a scar or bump.
    • A severe life-threatening allergic reaction.
    • A toxic reaction when there have been 20 or more stings.
    • Redness and swelling extending beyond the sting site.
    • Serum sickness, a rare reaction to stings. Flu-like symptoms and hives camera.gif begin 7 to 14 days after an insect sting.

    Home treatment can help relieve pain and prevent infection. Severe reactions require emergency medical treatment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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