NAGO, Okinawa -- A woman was hospitalized after a scorpion stung her on the leg and finger while she was trying on a pair of jeans at a clothing shop here, local officials said.
Health officials were called to the shop, Fashion Center Shimamura in Nago, and captured the scorpion, which was about five centimeters long. They believe that the scorpion is from China, as the jeans involved were imported from there.
The scorpion found inside the jeans was probably a Chinese bark scorpion. Researchers at the Okinawa Prefecture Institute of Health and Environment said that Chinese bark scorpions have poison in the tip of their tails, but it is not lethal.
The woman came to the store in Nago on Oct. 26, and tried on a pair of jeans. She suddenly felt pain in her right knee and rubbed it with her right hand. The scorpion then stung her right index finger, officials said.
Store clerks called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital, where she stayed for five days.
Employees at the store said that the jeans were from China and were shipped via Tokyo on Oct. 24. The jeans were displayed at the shop on Oct. 26. They added that during the process of drying and pressing jeans, workers use chlorine agents so they don't believe the scorpion crawled inside the jeans at that stage. "We will investigate how it crawled inside the jeans and try to prevent a recurrence," one employee at the store said.
Two types of scorpions inhabit the Yaeyama Islands and the Miyako Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and the Ogasawara Islands in Tokyo. But scorpions don't live in any other areas of mainland Japan and on Okinawa Island.