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Fire Ant Information Makes AMA Journal
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians may be familiar with the results of fire ant bites, but official documentation has not been available until recently.
The Nov. 1 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a photo/essay documenting the "Evolution of the Fire Ant Lesion."
James Jarratt, entomologist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, and Jim Lytle, chief photographer with MSU's Office of Agricultural Communications, provided the photo illustrations with the article. Jerome Goddard of the Mississippi Department of Health and Dr. Fernando R. de Castro of the Dermatopathology Reference Laboratory in Lexington, Ky., provided the medical commentary.
"We wanted to show all doctors, including those who live on the fringes of fire ant territory or outside the region, what stings look like," Jarratt said. "The pictures and description should help doctors who aren't familiar with fire ants identify their stings and show progression of a sting lesion over time."
In May, Jarratt allowed a fire ant to sting him twice on his thumb while Lytle photographed the assault. Unlike a typical sting, Jarratt allowed the ant to sting as long as it chose to.
"Normally, a person would knock off the ant so it would not be so severe," he said.
Lytle photographed the ant as it stung Jarratt, then took follow-up pictures of the wound. The Journal published photos from 30 minutes, one hour, 24 hours, 72 hours, one week and one month after the sting.
The photos and information are available on MSU's Department of Entomology website at: http://www.msstate.edu/Entomology/ants/fire_ants.html.