Stung by the wasp: can you die as a result?

Stung by the wasp: can you die as a result?

Especially in autumn they are our constant companions when we eat outside: wasps. For some people, a sting can even be life-threatening.

If wasps find less food in nature – for example due to the fading of nectar-rich flowers – they turn to human food. That is why, especially in late summer, there is often talk of “aggressive wasps”. The insects only want to ensure their survival, which is important. “Wasps are useful pest controllers, like hornets they also hunt enormous amounts of insects,” explains the Bund Naturschutz in Bayern (Bamberg district group) in an article on its website.

Wasps must not be killed, they are one of the protected insect species. Most of the time you can simply avoid contact with the small striped creatures. But sometimes the contact goes wrong – and you get stung. Not dramatic for otherwise healthy people. The local reactions such as swelling and redness are unpleasant but not dangerous to health.

However, if you have an allergic reaction, you must act quickly after an insect bite. There is even a risk of death if no adequate therapy is used.

Insect venom allergy to wasps can lead to shock

Depending on how severe the insect venom allergy is, it can be fatal. Severe allergy sufferers run the risk of developing an allergic shock. This, also called anaphylactic shock, causes the body to react to an allergen (in this case, wasp venom) with extreme discomfort.

Possible symptoms of anaphylactic shock:

  • Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Low blood pressure, dizziness or fainting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rash, redness or itching
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • abdominal pain or cramps

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These symptoms can develop and worsen quickly. Anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. People with known, severe allergies, especially those who have already suffered an allergic shock, should therefore always carry an adrenaline auto-injector with them. The ready-to-use syringe with adrenaline is essential as an emergency medication, since other drugs such as cortisone and antihistamines do not work immediately.

In general, it is important to observe the body’s reaction after a wasp sting. A doctor should always be consulted if symptoms persist or are severe. In an emergency, always dial 112 and use the adrenaline auto-injector.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no way does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.

This article was created with the help of machines and carefully checked by the editor Juliane Gutmann before publication.


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