Social and Health Impact of Flying Hymenoptera Stings: Experience in a Region of Central Hill Country of Sri Lanka
Keywords:Big bee, Hornet, Hymenoptera, Sri Lanka, Stings
Objectives: Stinging by Asian giant honey bee and hornets is a common environmental hazard leading to many hospital admissions in Sri Lanka. This study aims to study the social and health impact of flying hymenoptera stings in a region of the central hill country of Sri Lanka. Methodology: The study was carried out at the two base Hospitals in Teldeniya and Rikillagaskada, Sri Lanka. All the patients presented to these hospitals following a wasp or big bee singing, during the period of 2011–2010 were included in the study. Results: There was a total of 80 patients in this study cohort, with 54 (32%) of them being victims of Horne stings and the rest being big bee stings (n = 26, 68%). The mean age of the total group was 45 years (SD = 16). Stings occurrence between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm was more frequent. The majority of the big bee stings (n = 26, 48%) had occurred while working in tea estates, whereas the hornet attacks were frequent around the dwellings (n = 12, 46%), head and neck (n = 72, 90%), upper limbs (n = 48, 60%), chest (n = 28, 35%), and back of the chest (n = 24, 30%) were the commonly involved body regions. Conclusions: Hymenoptera stings have a significant social and health impact in a region of the central hill country of Sri Lanka. Although pain and swelling were the most common adverse effect, life-threatening anaphylaxis was not reported in this study group. Even though electrocardiogram changes were more common among big bee groups, none of them were fatal.
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