News from the Field, January 1997
"Oh, I'd take a snakebite over a brush with the killer caterpillar any day."
--Dr. Hui Wen Fan, infectologist at Hospital Vital Brazil, underscoring the deadliness of Lonomia obliqua, an otherwise harmless-looking brown caterpillar that sent more than 200 Brazilians to the hospital last year. The larva's poison, six times deadlier than that of most venomous snakes, causes severe internal hemorrhaging and, if left untreated,
Copyright 1997, Outside magazine
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