Insect Bites and Stings
Insect bites and stings are painful but there are no insects native to the UK that carry potentially fatal venom from a single sting or bite. Biting insects include mosquitoes and fleas; stinging insects include wasps and bees. Stings and insect bites are not usually serious unless there is an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions to stings from insects such as bees appear to be increasingly common and these can be life-threatening. Stings in the mouth or throat are also dangerous as the swelling they cause can block the airway.
Stings and bites
A sting is felt as a sudden sharp pain and appears as a raised white patch on a reddened area of skin. A bite is less painful and usually causes mild discomfort and skin inflammation.
Potentially life-threatening responses to stings and bites
This is an allergic reaction to a substance with which the body is in contact. Bee stings are amongst the most common cause. Anaphylaxis can develop within seconds and can be fatal.
While one sting is unlikely to cause problems on a major scale for an otherwise healthy adult, several stings may provoke a dangerous response.
Reaction to venom
Insects native to the UK are unlikely to cause problems for an otherwise healthy adult but dangerous insects may be found as pets in the UK or in everyday venues when on holiday overseas.
Stings to mouth and throat
Any sting to the mouth or throat should be treated with care as subsequent swelling may cause difficulty with breathing.
Signs and symptoms of a life-threatening reaction
First Aid Treatment
Ordinary bites and stings
Signs and symptoms
First Aid Treatment
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