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Centipede bite leaves woman in hospital

TIGER CENTIPEDE: the 10cm insect can eat mice and small toads
TIGER CENTIPEDE: the 10cm insect can eat mice and small toads

A WOMAN had to be taken to hospital after she was bitten by an exotic centipede.

The victim, from Dartford, suffered an allergic reaction when a 10cm tiger centipede sank its fangs in to her skin.

The insect had crawled out of her luggage as she unpacked after returning from a trip to India, and it later slithered into her bed and bit her.

The centipede’s vicious bite left the woman in searing pain and she was taken to Darent Valley Hospital for treatment.

Her quick-thinking husband caught the centipede, otherwise know as Scolopendra Polymorpha, and took it to hospital with his wife.

Liz Frazer, a matron in the Urgent Care Centre, was on duty when the couple arrived.

She said: "We could see she was already starting to have a mild allergic reaction so we treated the wound and gave her a short course of steroids to dampen it down.

"Luckily the couple had the presence of mind to catch the centipede and bring it in to us in a container. It was an aggressive little creature - it spat on the side of the box when someone looked at it."

It is believed to be the most unusual bite the West Kent Primary Care Trust staff have had to treat since the opening of the 24-hour minor injuries and ailments unit in January.

The creature, which can grow up to 18cm long and is capable of eating mice and small toads, was handed to an RSPCA animal collection officer by hospital staff.

It is due to be examined by an insect specialist this week before being returned to Kerala, in southern India.

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