Texas girl reportedly hospitalized after being stung by 'most poisonous caterpillar in the U.S.'

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

ROCKWALL, Texas - A 5-year-old Texas girl was reportedly hospitalized after being stung by the "most poisonous caterpillar in the United States," the girl's mother told KXAS-TV.

According to a report from the Dallas TV station, the girl's mother, Lauren Chambers, was contacted by staff at her daughter Adrie's day care. Staff told Chambers that the 5-year-old was unable to move her arm after being stung by a caterpillar, according to KXAS-TV.

Chambers told the TV station her daughter said it felt like the bug was stuck in her arm and after a Google search, they discovered it was a southern flannel moth caterpillar.

According to Texas A&M University's Agrilife Extension website, the caterpillar, commonly referred to as an asp, has fine hairs and venomous spines that "produce a painful rash or sting" when they come in contact with skin.

The caterpillars can cause "a severe burning sensation and rash," according to the website.

Side effects from a sting include "intense, throbbing pain," along with "headaches, nausea, vomiting, lymphadenopathy, lymphadenitis and sometimes shock or respiratory stress."

The Dallas TV station reported that Adrie's day care teachers removed the spikes from her arm using tape -- a move doctors told Chambers saved Adrie from more than pain, swelling and an upset stomach.

“They said if that had not happened, it could actually cause her whole body to go numb and start shutting down,” Chambers told KXAS-TV.

Officials from Texas A&M told the North Texas news outlet the caterpillars will likely disappear soon as they prepare for winter.

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