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Insect Stings


Stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are painful but rarely life threatening. Allergic reactions are the most dangerous effect of insect stings. Go to the nearest emergency room immediately if there is:

  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, dizziness.

  • Swelling of the face, mouth or throat.
Milder reactions are much more common. These include:
  • Redness and swelling around the bite; rash or itchiness. Treat the bite with ice. If you can see the insect stinger, push it out with a plastic card or other flat object. Sometimes a bite can become infected. See a doctor if:
    • There is an increase in swelling, redness, or pain around the bite.

    • Red streaks run from the bite.

This information is not a substitute for consultation with a personal physician.

Find a Physician: 800-497-1727

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