Humans have more contact with ants than any other type of insect. Ants are literally everywhere. There are probably hundreds or even thousands within your home right this minute. Everyday on your way to school or work, you likely kill vast amounts of ants just by unwittingly stepping on them. Luckily, ants are not typically considered dangerous to humans. Although there does exist some fierce ant species that won’t hesitate to inflict painful bites or stings, such as fire ants or black ants, there does not exist any ant species that can cause serious damage or death. Well, this may be what the majority of people think about ants, but, as it happens, ants can kill humans. One recent example of a death-by-ant encounter occurred in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Sadly a woman passed away in response to sustaining a bite from an ant species that is native to the country.
Last March, an Indian citizen, Susy Jeffy sustained a bite from a venomous ant while visiting Riyadh. Jeffy reportedly went into anaphylactic shock after sustaining the bite. Shortly after sustaining the bite, Jeffy began complaining to her husband about unpleasant physical symptoms. Her husband immediately noticed that Jeffy had been swelling up before she started to experience breathing difficulties. Jeffy told her husband that she had just been bitten by an ant.
When Jeffy was brought to the hospital, doctors found that her heart rate and blood pressure were abnormally low. According to Jeffy’s family, her medical condition came as a result of an ant bite, and her husband also claimed to have seen the ant perpetrator. Despite this evidence, doctors were unable to detect venom in Jeffy’s system, and there were no clear bite marks found on her body. However, doctors believe that Jeffy was probably bitten by an ant, and that is what caused her symptoms, as a patient that visited the hospital two weeks prior had also sustained an ant bite before exhibiting symptoms that were identical to Jeffy’s. The doctors also stated that, although rare, certain ant species in the region can, in fact, cause fully grown adults to die as a result of sustaining their bites. The species of ant that bit Jeffy is unknown.
Do you believe that Jeffy died due to an allergic reaction to a venomous ant bite? Have you ever heard of venomous ants before reading this article?