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Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings
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Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  429 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
We've all been bitten. And we all have stories.

The bite attacks featured in this dramatic book take place in big cities, small towns, and remote villages around the world and throughout history. Some are as familiar and contemporary as encounters with mosquitoes in New York City and snakes in southern California's Hollywood Hills or as exotic and foreign as the tsetse in e
Published July 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,122)
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Aug 18, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biology-genetics
Not as many personal stories as there were in Nagami's other book. What I learned: don't fall asleep by the water in gator country, don't go into crawlspaces, don't go into the komodo cage, don't pet strange dogs ... pretty much you should just stay indoors in a climate-controlled bug-free room. Except for the bacteria, but that's another story for another day.
Nurture Waratah
Definitely not for the sqeamish, this book covers various types of bites and stings from around the world, and provides graphic case studies for each one. From spiders to mosquitos, from snakes to dogs, Bitten tells us exactly how each type of bite or sting affects humans and why. By the time you finish reading this book, you will never look at another creature in the same way again.
Dec 04, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and happily suffered no nightmares while reading it. I was worried, too, because within the pages are tales of bites big and small, from paralysis-bearing ticks to swarms of ants, from feral ferrets to bone-crushing camels.
Nagami writes with a nice balance of compassion, humor, and professionalism. The chapter on monkey bites highlights this; as a woman of science, she supports medical testing on monkeys, but as a compassionate human, she recognizes that the test
Sep 01, 2007 A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: solve et cogula medical freak story dilettantes and connosieurs
The komodo dragon kills it victims through a daft bit of symbiosis: thousands of deadly bacteria are happy in its mouth, but in the bodies of others, they kill while turning their insides into a fetid, half-digested milkshake. Animal slows down and dies, komodo dragon slurps it down like a smoothie.

Humans can get bitten by a lot of things, causing them to die in a lot of different ways. Infectious disease specialist Nagami is more than happy to explicate all this; both reverent and morbid, depen
Sep 22, 2009 ConfectionQueen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-math
I just finished the book this morning and I definitely loved it.
While I did give it a 5 star rating one thing that did bother me it some chapters are worded in a way that any of these bites are guaranteed death unless there is immediate medical treatment(cat and dog bites for example). Some(jelly fish attacks, snake bites) are warranted obviously.

Great read, don't recommend to anyone who's a hypochrondriac or scared of insects(or just skip the first few chapters).
Aug 20, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, nature
This was a fascinating book, with each chapter detailing a different type of bite that could very likely prove fatal to humans. Many of the chapters involved creepy imagery from swarms of fire ants to fatal spider bites. Tips on bite-prevention (the largest section on dog bites) and what type of medical care to immediately pursue were easily laid out in each section. The range of topics was widespread and I was genuinely disappointed when this interesting book ended.
Jan 04, 2008 J-bone rated it it was amazing
Ok yes, this is a book of medical stories that will most likely make your skin crawl, but I just couldn't put it down. The strange-but-true stuff is absolutely fascinating. Another book I wouldn't normally pick up, but it was again a great change of pace for my leisure reading. Beware: you might quote some seriously creepy facts about the tsetse fly after reading this.
Tim Martin
Oct 17, 2015 Tim Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, nature, reviewed
_Bitten_ by Pamela Nagami, is a very interesting and well-researched popular science compilation of information and stories about just about every animal that stings, bites, or can carry infectious disease. Though a few are left out (notably sharks), a great many are included, each chapter often opening up with an interesting case history of a person afflicted by one of the animals in question, followed up by information on the organism, details on the disease that they may spread, and generally ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "Bitten," Dr. Pamela Nagami chronicles "accounts of unhappy encounters between people and various kinds of biting and stinging animals, even those of the human kind." These creatures range from ants, spiders, and ticks to, yes, human beings.

It's hard to believe that something as small as an ant could kill someone, but it happens. The book details the case of a 90-year-old woman with dementia who was found covered with thousands of ants. Within six hours, she was dead due to infection. There
Dec 05, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic, medical, 2015
3.5 stars

This book, while enjoyable, wasn't exactly what I was hoping it would be. I was under the assumption that it was a more clinical book than The Woman with the Worm in Her Head but that it would be similar. However, it wasn't really stories of different kinds of bites as much as it was a discussion of the history of different bacteria and how some different diseases were discovered. IT was interesting, but not what I was expecting.

It was also a little clinical for my taste. I was hoping
Great facts and amazing subject matter can't entirely cover the barely mediocre writing. What is a nursing sister? And if I hear that someone's airway was "protected by a small plastic tube" one more time...
But still worth a flip through, especially the first half dealing with all kinds of poisonous creatures and some surprising info.
an interesting account of all the things that can bite you, sting you, and in the process cause you great pain...who knew that the sting of some snails can kill you...or that bacteria in the human mouth can cause serious infection in a interesting read, but not for the paranoid
May 13, 2014 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really loved this book. I read both this and her other book "The woman with the worm in her head". Dr Nagami has quite a way with words and taking medically interesting stories and making them entrancing. Wonderful.
Jun 10, 2007 Andrew rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book, composed of vignettes of medical cases of people being bitten by various critters, and interspersed with compelling discussion of the science and issues providing context.
Jul 01, 2008 Libby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever heard of leishmaniasis? Also known as sponge face, it eats through a face starting with the nose. So horrific and gripping you wish you were an epidemiologist.
Jun 24, 2015 Alyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, science
This was such a great book, and it was so interesting to read. I certainly wish there was more of it, and my only complaint is that I felt that some chapters didn't have enough information. I know that this is likely no fault of the author's - if the research isn't there, it just isn't.

For such an unusual topic, this read like a novel. My family all laughed at me for reading this on the beach, but I could not care less! Definitely would not recommend for hypochondriacs or anyone without some go
Jun 24, 2009 Ruthann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of bites and stings kept me interested until the end.
Jan 27, 2014 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This book started out very strongly, with chapters on spiders and snakes. I read these sections with horrified amazement. I will echo what another reader said: Do not read the first few chapters in this book in bed. My legs were itching ten minutes in.

The book covers a lot of creatures that can bite or sting you - spiders, snakes, dogs, cats, monkeys, jellyfish, snails, ticks, microscopic water-dwelling parasites, alligators, etc. There's a lot of info. The sections on the spiders and snakes we
Sep 06, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book for someone like me who teaches nursing and medical students. This came recommended by Goodreads and some other sites, and since I've read Nagami's writings before and enjoyed them, I felt this was a good book to get. As soon as I started reading it, I started thinking of all the people who shouldn't read it because they are too squeamish (including my daughters!) and people like my husband, who should read it, because they are either Scouts or on Search and Rescue teams, o ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Virginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Nanami's first book is one of my favorite medical puzzle books of all time, was excited to read another. Like all books of this type, it invokes fascination, horror, and "hell no, I'm never leaving my bed again!" responses, though since so many dangerous bites occur in bed, that doesn't even feel like a safe space to read this book. Now I know why every spider that anyone thinks may have been looking at someone funny is automatically a brown recluse (people's obsession with them confused me ...more
May 31, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So a couple weeks ago I got an epic spider bite that turned into an epic blister and I was all "huh, weird, I wonder how that works." So I got a book about it. And it was awesome. She covers a wide range of bites and stings,from the obvious (snakes, spiders) to the less-than-obvious (cone snails, FTW!). Not for the faint of heart, but super fascinating for anyone who finds themselves wondering "huh, why did that happen after a bug bit me?"
Jan 28, 2015 Sacapsie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a hilarious, horrifying, and quick read. You will never look at spiders, snails, bats, mosquitoes, and ferrets the same way. I did wonder why horseflies and hornets and bees weren't included, but I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere. The crocodilian chapter was especially entertaining. This book would be particularly good for a teenager with a macabre bent, or anyone in need of a break from fiction or heavy non-fiction reading.
Sphinx Feathers
Sep 05, 2015 Sphinx Feathers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Creepy creepy creepy!

This is the sort of book that can't be read without imagining tiny legs making their way across your body. Although the book was a bit dull at some points, it was well-done and well-researched. I liked that the book was divided by stories and types. The small bits of information did make the book easier to read, especially toward the end.
Tim Hurrell
It's amazing we've managed to get this far, what with all those things out there trying to kill us and eat us, either from without and - in this case - from within. Wonder how long I can dodge the bullet: cats, a dog, a human, ticks, mosquitoes, a snake, a jellyfish...all have had a go.
Sometimes strange and gripping, sometimes boring, this book is about the things that can bite you and what god awful things that can happen from those bites. Things I learned? Bacteria is bad and teems in the mouths of cats, humans, komodo dragons, dogs, etc. Can give you nasty infections. I guess I was under the assumption that antibiotics were general, but the author says here that some antibiotics aren’t effective at all against some strains of bacteria. Also? Rabies is incurable. If you are ...more
Feb 03, 2015 S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting reading, but not a book to read right before bed (unless you want to have nightmares of bugs/spiders all night long!).
Oct 19, 2014 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than one would ever need to know about bugs and bites of all kinds, but still compulsively readable.
Moral: don't get bitten.
Oct 01, 2015 Lish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, medicine
I enjoyed the format of covering different bite types with medical cases to illustrate. It was a nice quick read albeit frightening. I enjoyed the integration of history as well.
Themes: Yucky critters, unpleasant diseases and germs, why you should stay out of the jungle

What I learned:

Stay away from bats. If you even touch a bat, get the rabies shots.

Never have a ferret as a pet.

I'm glad there are no fire ants in Utah.

If you HAVE to go to the jungle, as soon as you develop a rash or a fever, visit an infectious diseases specialist and DEMAND to be tested for every possible germ there is. And for Heaven's sake, TAKE ALL YOUR MEDICINE.

And don't bite anyone.
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“Dr.Costa then offered important clues to differentiate the syndrome from polio. in tick paralysis there is no fever, the spinal fluod is normal, the knee jerk and other reflexes are lost early, the patient is passive and apathetic, and, of course, the child has had a recent tick bite, or an attached tick is found.” 1 likes
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