Mental Health Effects Caused by Red Imported Fire Ant Attacks? [research study]

Stings by imported red fire ants don’t (though maybe do) induce some mental health problems in humans—the yes or no of it depending on one’s inclination and interpretation—suggests this study:

Mental Health Effects Caused by Red Imported Fire Ant Attacks (Solenopsis invicta),” Lei Wang, Yongyue Lu, Ripeng Li, Ling Zeng, Junling Du, Xiong Huang, Yijuan Xu, PLoS ONE, vol. 13, no. 6, e0199424. The authors, at South China Agricultural University and Guangzhou Medical University, China, report:

“Susceptible individuals who have suffered painful stings caused by red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, usually experience physical health effects such as fever, dizziness, generalized urticaria, or other systemic reactions such as anaphylactic shock. Whether S. invicta stings also have negative effects on mental health is not clear. In the present study, the psychological impact of S. invicta stings was evaluated…. Overall, our data do not show an effect of S. invicta stings on mental health as measured using a range of indicators.”

Here’s a simplified graphic of the algorithm used, in the study, to analyze the data:

(Thanks to Lily Cook for bringing this to our attention.)