Whilst wasp stings have always been regarded as extremely painful and it has long been recognised that individuals who are allergic to the wasp sting venom are at high risk of anaphylactic shock, little else has been linked to other adverse effects to our health.
Annually, it is estimated that in excess of 400,000 people seek medical advice regarding wasp stings, of which approximately 1,000 are hospitalised, and in the region of 12 people die from wasp stings, but frighteningly, recent medical research suggests this number could be in the thousands due to mis-diagnosis of heart attacks.
Greek physician, Dr Nicholas Kounis has discovered the link between an allergic reaction of the heart leading to acute myocardial infarction (or Heart Attack) brought on by wasp stings. This has been termed Kounis Syndrome.
Unlike other allergic reactions, with Kounis Syndrome there are frequently little or no other symptoms of this allergic reaction except for a heart attack. More recent and ongoing research is uncovering a delayed Kounis Syndrome which reveals that a heart attack may occur anything from 48hours to 2 weeks after a sting.
Kounis Syndrome is not restricted to wasp stings, but can be brought on by a number of agents like ant bites, jelly fish stings etc.
For more information of Kounis Syndrome check out this wiki entry
As if you needed anymore reasons to deal with that wasp nest!
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