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Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Wasp sting kills man
Bee
Bee and wasp stings can be fatal
A woman has described her shock as she watched her husband die after being stung by a wasp.

Anthony McGuire, 49, died within five minutes of being stung after severe anaphylactic shock made his throat and tongue to swell up.

His widow Lynn, 45, said he had been attacked by a wasp before and his arm had swelled up.

She urged anybody who has suffered a reaction to a sting to seek medical advice.

Anthony McGuire
Anthony McGuire: Died minutes after being stung

Mrs McGuire said: "I'd never heard that anyone could die from being stung by a wasp.

"I've heard about peanut allergies, because I work with autistic children and some are on special diets.

"I would urge anyone who has a reaction when stung to get it looked at because next time it could be fatal."

She described how her husband, originally from Ballycroy, Co Mayo, was stung when he brushed against a flower as he went into his back garden at the couple's home in New Southgate, north London, while cooking breakfast for her and children Anthony, 19 and Katy, 17 on July 14.

She squeezed out as much of the poison as she could, and dabbed the area with antiseptic.

However, her husband then collapsed and Mrs McGuire called for an ambulance but he died minutes later.

Up to 10 people a year die from severe allergic reactions to wasp or bee stings.

Body 'overreacts'

The sting triggers the release of chemicals, including histamine, from the immune system into the bloodstream.

An allergic reaction happens when the body's defence system overreacts, and it can lead to death.

Such allergies may have been triggered by an early sting and the victims are often unaware they have an allergy until they are stung again.

The best treatment is to inject adrenaline at once.

People with a serious allergy are advised to carry pre-filled syringes ready for self-injection.


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