The Allergy Sting of a Stinging Insect

Aug 11 2013 - 5:14pm
Yello Jacket
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It is summer and the insects have come out to play, especially those with stingers looking for human prey. When it comes to allergies caused by insect stings, however, at least 5% of Americans should be afraid of current month’s biggest fans. Meet the yellow jackets. These lovely black and yellow flying creatures can become the bane of our summertime existence if not careful. They are quite beautiful, with their designs and colors on the stingers, but they are in no manner friendly. Not disturbing them is a good idea.

In terms of American statistics, over 2 million of the country’s citizens are allergic to insect stings, out of which 500,000 were hospitalized and 50 known deaths were noted. These stings come from different types of insects with the capability to trigger the allergy.

How to prevent stinging allergies? Venom Immunotherapy! While it may not work perfectly, it almost definitely stops the severe reactions by allergic persons, having injected the venom into the system and fought against it. What are the statistics? Even after 10-20 years from the latest reaction to a sting, there is a 70% chance of recurrence. The protection from the immunology will take effect by the third month of treatment. The recommended duration of treatment? Between three to five years, removing likelihood of relapse.

Practical ways to avoiding being stung by a stinging insect include as per the advice given by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology:

• Cover up with pants and long-sleeved shirts when gardening or working outdoors

• Avoid walking barefoot in the grass

• Take caution when eating or drinking anything sweet

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• Don’t wear sweet smelling perfumes, hairsprays and deodorants when heading outdoors

• Avoid brightly coloured clothing with floral patterns

Now, if considering those not allergic to insect stings, particularly bee stings, there should be some guidelines as to how to treat the stung area:

• A spoonful of honey soaking up the toxins should hit the spot

• Baking soda and water for bee stings, baking soda with vinegar for wasps

• Toothpaste, also stinging heavily, can neutralize the pain

• Ice numbs the pain and reduces the swelling around the sting

Careful around those stinging black and yellow creatures, keeping a close watch on the attraction of these insects would be recommended and highly desirable. None would wish to waste their summer in the hospital, fighting off venom effects about our little friends’ stingy attitude.

Reference: ACAAI,

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