When it comes to wasp attacks, most people assume that only those with allergies to insect venom are at risk of dying from such attacks. This is a reasonable assumption, but quite inaccurate as well. While most wasp attack fatalities resulted from severe allergic reactions, a minority of wasp attack fatalities result from an overdose of toxic venom. However, health care professionals know that odd physiological responses can sometimes occur in people who have sustained insect bites or stings, and wasp stings are no exception. As it turns out, in rare cases, victims of wasp attacks who sustain numerous stings can experience bizarre and unpleasant neurological symptoms and they can even develop neurological conditions that sometimes result in brain tissue death, brain and spinal cord swelling and nerve damage.
Not long ago, a 45 year old man sustained 50 stings from wasps while he was mowing his lawn. The man drifted in and out of consciousness while being taken to the hospital. Once the man’s vitals stabilized, he appeared to be in good spirits, but he suddenly began alternating between complete unconsciousness and alert conscious states. The man was also unable to speak for periods of time, and while in an unconscious state, he stared blankly with dilated pupils. The man would fall into an unconscious state every two to three hours, and upon waking, he would lose all memory of being in the hospital. With steroid therapy, the man’s neurological symptoms disappeared within a matter of months.
Although rare, some people who have been injected with high amounts of toxic venom during wasp attacks have developed neurological complications as a result. These attack victims have developed eye disorders, weakness in skeletal and respiratory muscles, brain and spinal inflammation, development of necrotic brain tissue, nerve damage, cerebral bleeding, oxygen impediments to the brain and more in response to sustaining numerous wasp stings. In most cases, normal neurological functioning is restored in these individuals, but some have gone on to suffer lasting neurological deficits after wasp attacks. There are several theories concerning how wasp stings could induce such unusual neurological symptoms, but the ultimate cause of such symptoms remains unknown.
Do you think that these neurological symptoms occur in response to unusually high doses of wasp venom?