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Int J Legal Med. 1991 Mar;104(2):99-103.

Human fatalities caused by wasp and bee stings in Sweden.

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Department of Forensic Medicine, University of UmeƄ, Sweden.


Bee and wasp stings represent an uncommon cause of death. In a retrospective study of all fatalities due to venomous animals in Sweden during a 10-year-period, we found 19 fatalities due to wasps, 1 due to bees but none due to snake bite. This gives an annual incidence of 0.2 per million inhabitants. Most of the deceased were older than 50 years and had an underlying cardiovascular disease while previous severe reactions after insect stings were uncommon. The number of stings was not a factor of importance. Symptoms and death occurred within minutes after the sting. The autopsy findings were in most cases non-specific. Although uncommon, the possibility of a fatal insect sting should be considered in unwitnessed deaths occurring outdoors in summertime.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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