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Wasp expert says it's rare [...].

Wasp expert says it's rare to die from insect sting Wasp expert Stuart Roberts says dying after being stung by one of the insects is extremely rare.

The chair of the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society said most people simply experience a "a sharp, stinging sensation" that eventually subsides and leaves an itch.

Death usually only results where there is an underlying medical condition like anaphylaxis leaving people vulnerable to severe allergic reactions.

On average four bee or wasp sting anaphylaxis deaths are reported per year in the UK.

Many anaphylaxis sufferers will carry an epipen or auto-injector, which is a standard form of treatment for those susceptible to allergic reactions.

Mr Roberts said: "It's very, very rare, but some people can suffer from anaphylactic shock.

"Most people who have an anaphylactic reaction will be aware of it anyway and presumably would carry an epipen with them, which should be used immediately if they know they have a problem."

Allergies can develop at any time of life, but some people including asthmatics, children, and those with a history of anaphylaxis, have an increased susceptibility to reactions.

The likelihood and severity of a reaction depends on the type of allergen and the individual''s sensitivity to it.

Serious and potentially life-threatening reactions are most likely in people with a history of allergies or those who have asthma and a food allergy.

Sensitivity to insect stings frequently decreases over time or stops altogether, particularly among children.

However, it's estimated that people who have had an allergic reaction to insect venom have a 30% to 60% chance of experiencing a similar or more severe response if stung again.

Anaphylaxis follows no set pattern and it is impossible to predict the severity of future reactions.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 29, 2009
Words:290
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