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Insects

The bites of insects such as bees and wasps tend to produce local reactions characterised by reddening and pain at the bite site.

Some people can develop an allergic reaction when their immune system develops a response to the injected insect venom. The probability of such an allergic reaction increases with the number of insect bites received. In the case of bee stings, attempts can be made to extract the sting—thereby contributing to reduce the amount of venom injected.

In the case of local reactions, apply ice and administer an antihistamine. In situations of general (systemic) reactions in sensitised individuals, adrenalin must be administered.

All patients with allergy to bee and wasp venom must become familiar with the use of self-injectable adrenalin, and must always carry such medication with them in order to avoid anaphylaxis. In allergies of this kind, immunotherapy is the only effective treatment for preventing insect-bite-induced anaphylaxis.