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Asian hornet kills second French victim

Matthew Warren · 26 Aug 2011, 12:15

Published: 26 Aug 2011 12:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Aug 2011 12:15 GMT+02:00

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Fears are growing about the spread of the Asian hornet in France after a 38-year-old man died after being stung in Lherm, 30 kilometres south-west of Toulouse.

Patrice Verry, a father-of-three, was having a barbecue with friends on Saturday evening when he was stung on the hand while trying to swat one of the insects away with a tea towel. 

According to police reports he lost consciousness within minutes and could not be resuscitated by emergency services.

The mayor of Lherm, Jean Aycaguer, told local newspaper La Dépêche the number of hornets had "exploded" in the area. "We are powerless," he said.

The second death this year follows that of a 59-year-old woman in June close to Bordeaux.

The Asian hornet is believed to have arrived in France at the start of the decade as part of a delivery of Chinese products by boat, probably at the port of Bordeaux.

Since then it has spread to forty French departments, progressing by 100 kilometres each year. Experts believe it will have reached Paris within two years and is in the process of invading the rest of Europe.

The Asian hornet attacks bees and is not known to target humans unless in self-defence.




Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

2011-08-28 21:04:42 by volvoman9
The hornet is a member of the family of Vespids. Their venom has a cumulative effect ( the more one receives of it , the more sensitive one becomes). This has the effect of increasingly sensitizing the victim to subsequent encounters. If the victim is allergic to this venom then anaphylactic shock is the result. This can be mitigated by epinephrin injections and the use of benedryl but the relief from these drugs is short lived and prompt medical attention is always advised. An allergic reaction can be managed by a series of injections used to de sensitize the individual but this series takes 4 to 5 years to complete and is only around 50% effective. The victim is usually unaware that they have the sensitivity until problems arise. In some unfortunate cases this knowledge can come too late. Eradication of these insects is an alternative.
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