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"Woman attacked by caterpillar"


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On my way into work this morning I caught a snippet of a story on the radio. According to the announcer a woman was "attacked" by a caterpillar on Kent Island. I immediately laughed because the way it was reported was so over the top. I pictured a vicious, savage caterpillar with sharp teeth leaping up and biting the poor defenseless woman. Something like this:


Why is it so difficult for the media to report the facts without sensationalizing the story?

Anyway, if you're interested, here is the story as reported in the local paper:

Woman stung by caterpillar

Allergic reaction sends her to ER

By M.J. NEUBERGER Staff Writer

September 8, 2008


A venomous caterpillar, found in a Kent Island backyard, sent a 40-year-old woman to the emergency room last week.

Francis Breeding, integrated pest management consultant for the University of Maryland's Cooperative Extension office, identified the insect as the non-native puss caterpillar, or Meglopyge Opercularis, which he said transmits its poison on contact. He warned that an allergic reaction to the venom could be deadly and said residents should steer clear of the caterpiller, which is teardrop shaped, 1 to 1 inches long, covered with hair, and generally beige in color.

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