Keep venomous caterpillers away from kids, health unit warns

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is asking parents to keep kids away from the Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar.
Christine ​Margaritis says she seen a lot of odd animals pass through her yard, but never these type of caterpillars. She says she wants to know why they're nesting there. (CBC)

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is asking parents to keep kids away from the Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

CBC Windsor News ran a story Tuesday about the insect, warning that touching it could cause skin irritation.  

The health unit said the insects looks like white, fluffy caterpillars with black chain-like markings on their backs. 

"It can cause a rash, a burning sensation, sometimes swelling and pain," said Allen Heimann, the medical officer of health. "Certainly it can cause an allergic reaction, which can include nausea and difficulty in breathing."

Some people may also experience other symptoms such as a headache or nausea.

Anyone who touches the caterpillars should wash the area with soap and water and apply calamine lotion or ice packs. 

Health officials advise people to see a doctor if symptoms are more serious,

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