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Warning allergy: Bee and wasp stings can also be life-threatening


Life-threatening consequences: Don't underestimate the dangers of bee and wasp stings

Bee and wasp stings are painful, but usually not too dramatic. However, they can sometimes be life-threatening for people with insect bite allergies. Allergy sufferers can prevent: Hyposensitization is usually successful.

Wasp sting death

In North Rhine-Westphalia, a 50-year-old man was killed by wasp stings a few weeks ago. He had apparently cut into a wasp nest while cutting hedges and had not survived the subsequent insect attacks. If you are stung by a bee or wasp only once, this is usually harmless. It is different if you are allergic; then there is a risk to life.

Don't underestimate the dangers

Experts warn against underestimating the dangers of bee and wasp stings.

"A bee or wasp venom allergy can have life-threatening consequences and in the worst case can even lead to death," said Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml, according to a message.

"That is why insect venom allergy sufferers should always have an emergency kit with them," said the minister.

As the Bavarian Ministry of Health explains, the emergency set consists of several prescription drugs.

In addition to cortisone and an antihistamine in liquid form, it therefore contains a preparation with adrenaline that the patient can inject himself.

Since the effects begin immediately, the drug can be life-saving for those affected.

Hyposensitization with a high success rate

“However, many people do not know that they are allergic to wasp or bee venom. If an allergic reaction is suspected, a doctor should be consulted immediately, ”says Huml.

“Using skin tests and the detection of specific antibodies in the blood, it can be examined whether you actually suffer from a wasp or bee venom allergy. General practitioners and specialists provide information, ”explained the politician, who is a trained doctor herself.

“In most cases, an insect venom allergy can be treated well once diagnosed. Hyposensitization is particularly recommended. The health insurance companies pay for this immunotherapy if the doctor has diagnosed an insect poison allergy. ”

With this therapy, the patient is injected with a small dose of the insecticide. The quantity is increased step by step. Due to the repeated confrontation with the allergen, habituation begins over time.

According to experts, the success rate of this immunotherapy, which lasts between three and five years, is over 90 percent.

In addition, allergy sufferers should pay attention to expert tips that help protect themselves from bees and wasps.

A simple defense trick can help here: simply spray the insects with a little water from an atomizer. Then they think it's starting to rain and flee to their nest.

Most common cause of severe allergic reactions

In Germany, an average of around 20 people die from an allergic shock due to an insect bite each year.

According to the ministry, bees and wasps are the most common cause of a severe allergic reaction in German-speaking countries.

According to experts, an estimated one to five percent of the population suffers from a bee or wasp allergy.

Allergy sufferers get a quickly occurring rash on the whole body, sweating, dizziness or shortness of breath when they are stung, they often lose consciousness and cardiovascular arrest can occur.

In the worst case, anaphylactic shock occurs, an extreme allergic reaction of the organism. Then first aid is urgently needed. Adrenaline must be injected into the patient immediately. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Anaphylaxis - CRASH! Medical Review Series (October 2020).