The sunrays are hotter and hotter. Days are longer. Fruit trees are dressing up into their festive costumes. The waves are playing hide and seek with flashing sunrays on the water. With each sniff of spring aromas the flashbacks of picnics appear in your imagination and you can even taste fresh grilled stake in your mouth. How would be nice to get rid of all winter load and lie on the grass enjoying friendsí laugh. It is so nice to be far away from civilization.
Spending time on the fresh air has the other side. Being far away from the cities is increasing different risks as burns, wounds, bites and others. What do we need to know, to be ready to and what do we need to take with us? We are starting series of articles about safety on the nature that will provide necessary information and prepare you for different risks and hazards.
The first things that you need to be ready for are bites of insects, animals and snakes. One of them are troublesome, the other dangerous, the third one fatal. And that is why it is so important to know what to beware of and how to act in case of bite.
In accordance with different sources there are from three to five species of vipers on the territory of Ukraine. These are the only poisonous snakes in our region. Vipera nikolskii differs from the others with black colour and yellow, sometimes orange spot, on the bottom of the tail. However the young representatives of this species can have grey or brown colour, but in such case the ordinary vipersí zigzag pattern will be visible. The other specific characteristic is head as its frontal part is narrow and in the same time rear part is wider than the body, so it is like an arrow-head. Vipers like high grass, bushy slopes, crevices, old stumps and other. Mostly the vipersí bites are not fatal for humans, but in the spring, in the mating season, the effect of poison intensifies. Vipersí poison affects on the coagulability and creates hemorrhages. The most dangerous are bites in the areas of neck, face, and wrists. In case of biting you need to minimize any motion of the suffered part, drink a lot of water (alcohol is forbidden), also will be helpful to place some ice and tight bandage on the wound. There are two points of view regarding suctioning of the poison. From one hand the suctioning will help to delete 30-60% of poison and will decrease damage to health. From the other hand vipersí teeth are very long and inject poison very deep, also the micro injuries in the mouth cavity of ďrescuerĒ are causing risk for him.
Among the arthropods the most dangerous in Ukraine are Mediterranean black widows. Their poison is 15 times more powerful than pit viperís poison, but is fatal in 2-4%. A size of spider is quite small from 0.7 till 2 cm. The most distinctive quality of the black widows is their black colour with red spots on the dorsal abdomen. As sting itself is imperceptible very important are symptoms among them are aching in all body, dry mouth, high temperature, tense in the prelum, worsening of the winds breaking in the bowels
The second one is lycosa. Its poison could be fatal in case of strong allergic reaction; in other cases it causes edema, pain, numbness and high temperature. The sting is very similar to wasps' stings. Lycosas are up to 4 cm. and have brownish-greyish-black colour.
Not so well-known is argiope. It is easy to recognize by yellow with black stripes on the dorsal abdomen. The same as lycosas the stings are fatal in case of strong allergic reaction. The sting itself is very painful and causes reddening, edema, numbness, but in couple hours the pain will pass and in several days edema will go away. If you were stingged by spider you need to act as with the biting of a snake. As all three species are becoming more intensive at nights, so it is recommended to wear long trousers and shoes that cover feet. If you found on you one of the creatures mentioned above do not press it and just knock it down by the finger fillip.
One more hazard for good rest on the nature are ticks. Ticks are not poisonous, but they are transferring different diseases. The most dangerous one is encephalitis, which declares itself in 1-3 weeks. The first signs are strong headache, vomiting and fever with shivering. Also the flaccid paralysis appears in the upper body. The second hazard is Lyme disease. In such case the incubation period is 7-14 days. The disease declares itself by fever, high temperature, headache, fatigability and pain in muscles. The main is to take out tick as soon as possible and if you are not sure that you can cope or afraid go to the doctors.
Although stings of any insects in our region could be painful are dangerous by allergic reactions. However in case of any bite or sting you need to bring victim to the hospital as soon as possible!
In the next article we will go over what to put in your first aid kit when you are going to the nature and about what you need to think beforehand.