Three people were killed and ten others injured after their homes in Egypt were attacked by scorpions, health officials said on Tuesday.
The incident occurred when two groups of people who were due to watch a football match on Monday night in Dakahia, near the holy city of Luxor, were visiting other part of the city and were bitten by the critters during their evening trip.
A few hours later, another team of people returned home to find their apartments covered in a swarm of poisonous scorpions, the official MENA news agency reported.
The assistant of the local government said that some of the victims had suffered from swelling and headache and were treated at the clinic for an hour and a half.
Two residents were admitted to the hospital and doctors estimated that all three were dead by midnight.
The three killed were brothers, aged 18, 20 and 23. Health authorities said that the two other victims were cousins aged 24 and 30. They were all from the same family, MENA reported.
The director of the Dakahia provincial emergency unit said that the number of scorpions found had increased drastically and said a total of 17 swarms were filmed before officials finally rounded up the 8 remaining colonies.
In 2015, a massive scorpion outbreak killed two people in Egypt, sparking a social media debate about the possible connection between the deadly arachnids and eating meat.
The first incident took place in the city of Alexandria in the Mediterranean Sea in August 2015 when two people, a doctor and his wife, were killed by an outbreak of larvae-filled scorpions.
Health Minister Hatem Abdel Rahman said at the time that the affected regions had contained the outbreak of dangerous scorpions, which appeared in and around Alexandria and in the forests along the Nile Delta.
The doctor’s death was reported on social media, sparking calls on Egyptian citizens to “avoid eating meat made of locally sourced meat until the situation is fully contained.”
At the time, Health Ministry officials ruled out any link between that incident and an outbreak in Cairo of beak-shaped pseudohyperthes, a similarly venomous scorpion that can also reach 800 grams in weight.
In the 2004 outbreak, 65 people were infected by beak-shaped pseudohyperthes at Alexandria’s Dead Sea.
The first scorpion clusters in Cairo, Selma and Alexandria peaked in 2007 and 2008 after multiple sightings were reported over several months, the Health Ministry said.
The 2014 earmarks of the same suspected arachnid were termed from an especially venomous scorpion species that feeds in the caves of the Upper Sahara Desert, or from the far bigger brooding and later crusting-feeding pseudohyperthes.