TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A University of Arizona doctor is receiving an award today, she is being honored for the work she is doing to protect Arizona residents from a deadly pest. One many residents know too well, scorpions.
Dr. Leslie Boyer from the U of A is one of 30 heroes being recognized by the FDA for her groundbreaking research in treatments of snakebites and scorpion stings.
She founded the antivenin for scorpion stings called 'Viper.'
The award is part of a program to recognize advancements with treatments for rare diseases. This is two out of four antivenins currently on the U.S. market that were developed by the U of A.
Dr. Boyer says even though many residents are familiar with scorpion stings and snake bites the total of venom injuries are small enough to consider them rare diseases.
Each year about 8,000 scorpion stings occur in Arizona, and 200 result in serious conditions.
Nearly all of these patients are young children, whose breathing may be impaired severely by the effects of the scorpion venom on the nerves controlling the respiratory system.