Dozens of Chinese children have been hospitalized in Guizhou province with severe organ failure after being stung by giant hornets.
More than 40 people had already been killed by the aggressive hornet, or Vespa mandarinia, which grows up to 5cm long with a 6mm sting, the Daily Mail reported. The insects’ highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure.
Fu Huanhuan, 16, told Britain’s ITN News that she was working on a farm when a swarm started stinging her head.
“A lot of hornets surrounded my head,” she said. “My head felt really sore and my heart started racing.”
She almost died as a result of the stings, and is now in hospital recovering from her injuries.
Some of the children were stung more than 200 times, the hospital said. Many had to have several blood transfusions as well as hemodialysis to remove the toxins from their blood, the report said.
Experts have attributed the rise in attacks to an increase in the vegetation which the insects live off, the Daily Mail reported. Authorities have put in place a special medic team and trained more medical personnel to treat victims.