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Valley Doctor Explains the Dangers of Being Stung by Africanized Bees

3 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, August 02 2017 Aug 2, 2017 August 02, 2017 9:43 PM August 02, 2017 in News

HARLINGEN – Two people are recovering in the hospital Wednesday following a bee attack in Sebastian. Africanized bees can still pose a threat even to people without allergies.

The stings from these bees are toxic, too much and it can even prove to be fatal.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS met up with John Talamantez from Hargill who was recently attacked while doing yard work.

"We were cutting the grass with the weed eater and the lawn mower, and I guess with the noise it just moved them around and they started attacking us," said Talamantez.

He still has marks on his body from the stings, "While they were attacking us we couldn't even come out of the house. They were all in the house."

When these bees attack, they can leave more than just mark.

"Somebody can even die from one sting if they are allergic," said Dr. William McKenna, an allergist out of Harlingen.

McKenna started researching Africanized bee attacks in the Rio Grande Valley in the early 90’s.

"I was on the EMS service call list, whenever they had a bee call they would also call my office," said Mckenna.

He estimates there are at least one to two deaths a year locally and it can happen even to someone who isn't allergic.

In order for the toxin to be fatal for those without allergies, McKenna said you would need to be stung about 19 times per kilogram based on your body weight.

To put that into perspective someone weighing 155 pounds would need to be stung a little over 1,300 times.

Not everyone is the same, age and health can also play a factor.

"Some people can get three, four, five hundred stings and look fine and others are going to die," said McKenna.

If you are attacked by bees, McKenna urges you to seek medical attention immediately.

The two people stung in Sebastian are currently in stable condition.

McKenna said Africanized bees are less active in the winter time.

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