Wave of attacks by giant hornets kills 28 in China
Insects’ highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure
Twenty-eight people have died and hundreds have been injured in a wave of attacks by giant hornets in central China, according to reports.
Victims described being chased for hundreds of metres and stung as many as 200 times.
Most of the attacks in the past three months were in remote, rural, wooded areas in southern Shaanxi, the province’s ‘China Business’ newspaper reported.
In the city of Ankang, 18 people have died from the stings. People in the cities of Hanzhong and Shangluo have also been injured.
The insects’ highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure.
The hornet attacks are a recurring problem in the area from May to as late as November. According to Ankang police, 36 people died in the city and 715 were injured by the creatures between 2002 and 2005.
Experts have suggested that warmer temperatures in the area have led to hornets breeding more successfully and that labourers have been moving deeper into areas where they may disturb nests.