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Toxicon. 2010 Feb-Mar;55(2-3):650-2. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Medical consequences of the Asian black hornet (Vespa velutina) invasion in Southwestern France.

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Centre Antipoison, 249 Boulevard Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France.


The presence of the Asian black hornet Vespa velutina in Southwestern France has been confirmed since 2005. The medical literature indicates that in comparison with other Asian hornets' species V. velutina is not a major health threat in Asia. A review of data from French Poison Control Centers showed only one envenomation clearly linked to V. velutina. The victim developed severe symptoms with neuralgia sequels after being stung 12 times on the head. This case demonstrates that like native French hornet species V. velutina can be dangerous for man after multiple stings. The experience of Poison Control Centers in France shows that the increase of this Asian hornet population in the southwestern regions has not been correlated with an increase in the number of hymenoptera stings.

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