It’s that time of year again, when bees and wasps can buzz around your head each time you venture out of doors. Most of the time we ignore those pesky buzzes, but if we happen to be stung it makes it more than just annoying. And for those who are allergic to stings, it catapults to life threatening.
Research indicates that each year more than 400,000 people seek medical assistance after being stung. Of those, an estimated 1000 are hospitalized and around 12 of them die from their stings. But now there is evidence that says the number of deaths could be much, much higher due to a mis-diagnosis of heart attacks that result from a sting.
And the fact that the average person never reports a sting, could mean this mis-diagnosis could be much more often than originally thought.
A Greek physician, Dr. Nicholas Kounis, has discovered an internal allergic reaction from a sting that has no other obvious symptoms, except a heart attack. This has been named the Kounis Syndrome.
Even more startling is the newest research that reveals this kind of heart attack may occur from 48 hours to 2 weeks after a person is stung. And the stings can be from things other than wasps too, like jelly fish or fire ants.
Unfortunately, the research on Kounis syndrome is in its infancy so treatment and other information is not readily found. Just identifying the syndrome is only one aspect of the research. Finding an effective treatment will take much more time, money and research.
For now, the only way to avoid a sting is to prevent it from happening. If you notice any infestation or swarming, call your pest control expert and let them deal with it. Usually, the same repellent that you use to keep the Zika-carrying mosquitos from biting will keep the stinging insects at bay also.
So, go ahead and enjoy the summer, but whatever you do, remember the insect repellent.