While red ants are not commonly considered life-threatening, they fall under the Hymenoptera family of insects, which includes other insects like honeybees and wasps. (Image: DC)
Hyderabad: In a concerning and potentially dangerous incident, a 28-year-old IT employee in Hyderabad found himself in an emergency care center at the nearest hospital moments after a harrowing encounter with red ants.
While red ants are not commonly considered life-threatening, they fall under the Hymenoptera family of insects, which includes other insects like honeybees and wasps. These red ants have the potential to trigger acute allergic reactions, said Allergy Super Specialist & Immunologist, Dr Vyakarnam Nageshwar.
"This case marks the first diagnosis of red ant allergy in India. The 28-year-old man, while gardening at his home, was stung by ants on his leg. Surprisingly, exactly 30 minutes later, he experienced a series of alarming symptoms, including itchy eyes, throat, and skin, slurred speech, slight difficulty in breathing, swelling of his cheeks and ears, and dizziness," he explained.
The techie’s family acted swiftly, rushing him to the nearest hospital. There, doctors admitted him to the emergency ward and later to the intensive care unit (ICU) for a full 24 hours. He was discharged once his breathing normalised, and the dizziness and rash subsided.
The doctors diagnosed him with severe allergic urticaria, severe angioedema, and anaphylaxis reaction. However, the story didn't end there.
About 20 days later, while cleaning books and attempting to rid the house of ants, the man was bitten again. This time, it was a deeply concerning and frightening experience for the family.
Fearing for his well-being, they brought him to an allergy center in Hyderabad. Dr Vyakarnam Nageshwar, an expert allergist and immunologist, thoroughly examined the patient's symptoms and conducted a modified allergy skin prick test.
As the patient did not exhibit a positive response to routine allergens, Dr Vyakarnam opted for "Red Ants - Black Ants" allergy testing, taking into account the patient's past experiences and symptoms.
The results were as follows:
1. Histamine: Severe - Score: 8.
2. Red Ant Allergy Testing: Severe Positive - Score: 6.
3. Black Ant Allergy Testing: Mild Positive - Score: 4.
Taking into account the details of the patient's allergy tests, 28-year-old IT allergy patient was provided with state-of-the-art Allergic Specific Venom Immunotherapy treatment.
1) Red ant Allergen specific immunotherapy started.
2) Inj.EPIPEN (sos)
3) Anti Histamines
4) Broncho Dilator Therapy.
Medications oral or injectable could only temporarily benefit Allergy patients symptomatically but may not save them from Allergen induced Acute reactions but the Allergen Specific Immunotherapy is the only method by which Allergy patent could be benefitted and could avoid life threatening severe allergic reactions in future if patient gets accidentally reexposed to such Insects says Dr.Vyakarnam Nageshwar.