After a Quebec mayor’s sudden death after being stung by wasps, many are taking the tragic news as a warning going into the second half of summer.
Lucie Roussel, 51 of La Prairie, Quebec was spending the weekend at a cottage when she stepped on a wasps nest and was stung 15 times. She later died of the stings. A neighbour said she was allergic to bee and wasp stings but didn’t have her anti-allergy epi-pen injector with her.
Ontario doctors say one percent of the population known to be allergic to insect stings will have a systemic reaction. Others may not know they’re allergic or may not be allergic but can be overwhelmed by the number of bites.
Dr. Paul Keith from Hamilton Health Sciences says,
“Sometimes if you disturb a nest and you’re stung over 50 times you can have a reaction on your whole body without even being allergic because you can get so much toxin from the stinger that you could have a reaction to your whole body.”
While many bites need only an ice pack, Canada averages about three deaths a year from bee, hornet or wasp stings.
Experts say the key is to take precautions. They urge those who are allergic to carry an epi-pen with them. You can also wear long pants and sleeves and stay away from anything suspicious like nests of yellow jackets which are common in the grass in Ontario.
One thing they say you can always count on in Canada, unlike the southern United States is with falling temperatures comes fewer bug stings as summer dwindles.