City zoologists yet to confirm 'insect' bites
Kolkata: City based zoologists have no clue whether Tarantulas or some other insects have bitten people across some districts in Bengal as they are yet to receive samples of the insects from the affected areas.
In the past one month, reports of insect bites have come from Nadia, East Midnapore and West Midnapore and South 24-Parganas. The doctors, who have treated the patients, said the patients have been bitten by Tarantulas.
The zoologists maintained that without getting samples of the insects, it is difficult to say whether the victims were bitten by Tarantulas or some other insects.
Professor Ena Ray Banerjee, head of Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine Research Unit, Calcutta University said unless the samples are received it is difficult to say anything about the variety of the insects. She said in May 2016, some people were bitten by insects in Belda and Debra in West Midnapore district and her research unit had received two samples, one dead and another living. The department had conducted DNA sequencing of the species and found that the variety of Tarantulas was not found in India or had not been reported earlier.
She said the places, where people are being bitten by insects which may or may not be Tarantulas, should get in touch with the Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine wing so that researchers can go and collect the samples for DNA sequencing. She said because of high temperature the Tarantulas have come out looking for food. She urged people not to panic as the stings do not carry poison.