What's Going Around: Bee & Wasp Stings

By  | 

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) Summer may almost be over, but the bees and wasps are still stinging people.

Nurse practitioner Linda Bowers at McLaren Greater Lansing DeWitt Family Medicine says the symptoms are pretty minor for most people. Stings will cause instant burning pain followed by a red welt, raised skin and itching.

You can remove the stinger with tweezers, just be careful not to squeeze the venom sack. Wash the wound, put a cold pack on it and apply hydrocortisone cream.

It's a much more serious situation if you're allergic to bees or wasps. A sting can cause a dangerous reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat and tongue, a weak or rapid pulse and loss of consciousness. You will need an immediate epinephrine injection. Call 911 if you don't have an autoinjector on you.

You can develop bee sting allergies later in life, even if you haven't had an allergic reaction to a sting in the past. You can also have a minor reaction one time and a more serious one later.

If you are allergic, you should see a doctor about carrying an auto-injector or getting immunotherapy treatment.