What is the prognosis of Hymenoptera stings?

Updated: Nov 08, 2018
  • Author: Randy Park, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Most stings resolve with no residual complaints. Large local reactions do not predispose patients to generalized reactions in the future. Less severe generalized reactions precede most fatal reactions.

Large local reactions occur in 17-56% of those stung. In one study, 1-2% experienced a generalized reaction, and 5% sought medical care. Individuals with large local reactions have a 5-10% risk of subsequent development of a severe systemic reaction if re-stung. [4]

An updated review of animal-related deaths in 2005 determined that Hymenoptera stings accounted for 533 deaths in the United States from 1991-2001. This number represented 70.2% of all venomous animal-related fatalities in the United States during this period. [8]

In 1989, 32 deaths were reported from fire ant stings in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia. [9]  

Wasps and bees cause 30-120 deaths yearly in the United States.

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