Allergy to insects

Allergies to bees, wasps, hornets

Symptoms of allergy to a sting

  • Wasp, bees or hornet stings can cause severe symptoms usually suddenly after the insect sting.
  • The following can occur: urticaria, angioedema, breathlessness, abdominal pain, faintness and even anaphylactic shock.

Severe reactions are on the increase

  • Allergy reactions to stings are increasingly getting worse and requiring medical help by an allergy specialist.
  • For those who are allergic to wasp, bee or hornet stings, urgent administration of epinephrine is necessary and should always have to hand an emergency kit of steroids, antihistamines, bronchiodilator and epinephrine.

Impotant advice

  • Do not walk barefoot on the grass
  • Do not panic in the presence of a stinging insect
  • Cover most of your body when gardening or going for a walk
  • Do not to leave food remains on plates and avoid leaving around beer or sweetened fizzy drink bottles which insects can get into.
  • Bright or colourful clothing, sun tanning lotions, perfumes and shampoo attract insects.
  • Always have to hand insect repellent and or insecticide which can get rid of them.

Consult medical help urgently if an allergic reaction occurs and is accompanied by hives, breathing difficulty and faintness.

Seek specialist allergist advice for an assessment if a severe reaction occurs after a sting or if you notice an aggravation in the reactions after new stings.

Desensitising: the only treatment, which prevent such sever reactions to bee or wasp stings

  • A desensitising treatment may be suggested by a specialist.
  • Its chances of success are more than 90%
  • Desensitising consists a number of injections over a period of an initial day and then series of months, sometimes years.

Allergic people must always have an emergency kit containing steroid drugs, a bronchodilatator (Ventolin) and an self-injection epinephrine syringe.

Mosquito allergy

Mosquito allergy causes in most cases localised allergic reactions accompanied by itching and a tendency to get infected.

How to avoid being bitten

  • Wear large and thick clothing covering arms and legs, to apply a repellent to the uncovered skin parts.
  • Avoid dark colours or very shiny clothing which attract insects.
  • Some anti-mosquitoes products are contraindicated for expectant mothers and children.
  • For areas full of mosquitoes or for people for whom repellent skin products are contraindicated, clothing can be impregnated with a special insecticidal product.
  • The use of mosquito nets is recommended.
  • Electricals appliances, sprinklers, or ultrasound transmitters have a relative effectiveness.
  • Citronella oil offers about one hour protection against stings and is not recommended for children under 2.
  • Mosquitos bit at dawn and dusk, therefore protection at these times is vitally important.
  • Ask your local pharmacist which products they would recommended for children.

An antihistamine preventive treatment can be prescribed during several weeks at the time of exposure.

Tests to desensitise people allergic to mosquito bites, based on allergens found in their saliva are currently under way...
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