Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Apr 7:
More than 10 thousand people in 20 villages under the Balipada panchayat in Puri district of Odisha have been bitten by virulent red ants which is leading to undiagnosed skin rashes and itching.
The locals are a worried lot as the saliva of these red ants is so poisonous that its contact results in severe itching and consequent development of a painful sore which is untreatable.
After the news was reported in media, a team of experts headed by Dr Samrendra Mohanty Puri ADMO (public health) visited the affected areas, yesterday.
They collected saliva samples of the ants and also some ants for analysis. They met the affected patients and gathered data from them. The team has advised the villagers to wash the area affected by ant bites or saliva with sodium bicarbonate. They also distributed some ointments to the affected patients.
These deep red coloured ants with long legs are capable of walking very fast and hardly stay at one place for long. Locals are calling it Andhra ants who seem immune to insect sprays and gammexane power.
These insects have eaten up all buds and fruits of trees in the areas. They have made life of villagers miserable and are affecting daily rituals like bathing, eating and sleeping.