Most people are not allergic to insect stings. Recognizing the difference between an allergic reaction and a normal reaction will reduce anxiety and prevent unnecessary medical expense.
Thousands of people enter hospital emergency rooms every year suffering from insect stings. It has been estimated that potentially life-threatening allergic reactions occur in 0.4% – 0.8% of children and 3% of adults. At least 90 – 100 deaths per year result from insect sting anaphylaxis.
The majority of insect stings in the United States come from wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and bees. The red or black imported fire ant now infests more than 260 million acres in the southern United States, where it has become a significant health hazard and may be the number one agent of insect stings.
Insect Sting Allergy Symptoms
Swelling (in area of sting and sometimes beyond)
Anaphylaxis (less common), a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing and can cause the body to go into shock