Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Killer hornets leave 41 dead and 1,600 injured in central China

Hundreds have suffered from anaphylactic shock and renal failure after being stung by hornets
Hundreds have suffered from anaphylactic shock and renal failure after being stung by hornets

Hornets have killed 41 people and injured more than 1,600 in central China, the Shaanxi provincial government has said.

Hundreds have suffered from anaphylactic shock and renal failure after being stung by their toxic sting, which measures 6mm in length and injects a potent venom.

Asian giant hornets are the world's largest hornet, measuring approximately two inches in length with a wing span of three inches.

Some of the biggest swarms have hit the city of Ankang, where 19 people died. Twenty-two others in two adjacent cities also died after being stung in attacks.

Many other victims have come under attack when working outside in rural areas.

Thirty seven people remain in a critical condition in hospital. The dramatic increase in attacks has led to the Government setting up specialist medical teams to assist the injured. Medical staff are also being provided with special training to treat the injured.

The intensely predatory insects are most aggressive in behavior when they mate and migrate in September and October. Local officials have also said drier and warmer weather this year has contributed to the ferocity of attacks.