CENTRAL, La. — Fire ants are the scourge of the Louisiana lawn, but their venomous stings can be as dangerous as those from bees, ants or wasps. Patrick Dodson, 13, and his mother, Donna Dodson, learned that one Sunday afternoon in March while doing yard work at their Central home.
Patrick Dodson fetched a bag of mulch made from a tree blown down by Hurricane Gustav in September. It tore open as he headed to the flower beds, and his leg was covered in hundreds of ants.
“Once I noticed them, I kind of freaked out, and that’s when they started biting me,” he said. “It didn’t really hurt until 10 minutes afterward.”
Most people call them bites, and fire ants often do anchor themselves with a bite — but it’s the sting that hurts. And, unlike bees or wasps, each ant can sting many times.
Patrick’s mother washed the ants off his leg, applied an antihistamine cream and sent her mother, Alice Reine, to the store for a liquid antihistamine. Continue reading
President Obama tells the American Medical Association in Chicago that the existing system leaves too many Americans uninsured and forces “excessive defensive medicine” by doctors worried about malpractice lawsuits.
CHICAGO — President Barack Obama pushed hard Monday for a health care overhaul, saying the system is “a ticking bomb” for the budget that could force America to “go the way of GM” without a legislative fix.
Obama went before the American Medical Association in Chicago to declare anew that the existing system leaves too many uninsured and forces “excessive defensive medicine” by doctors worried about malpractice suits. He also declared once again that he does not favor socialized medicine and cautioned people to beware of “scare tactics and fear-mongering” by critics who make this claim.
Obama did tell his audience of physicians and health care professionals that he’s “open” to requiring all Americans to have health insurance, while stressing that the plan would permit continuing assistance for those who cannot afford it on their own. Continue reading
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