We have launched our new Bee Allergy Aware campaign to encourage the public to learn more about bee and wasp sting allergy and how to keep themselves safe.
As we all spend more time outdoors, bee and wasp stings become more prevalent. For most people, a bee or wasp sting isn’t dangerous. But for a small minority, an insect sting can lead to anaphylaxis – a life-threatening allergic reaction.
We want to highlight how to recognise symptoms of an allergic reaction and what to do in an emergency. insect venom is the second most frequent cause of anaphylaxis in the UK outside of medical settings. Anyone can become allergic to insect stings, but you are more at risk of serious allergic reactions if you have frequent or multiple stings. Beekeepers and people diagnosed with mastocytosis, a rare condition caused by an excess number of mast cells gathering in the body’s tissues, are more at risk of serious sting reactions.
Even if you are allergic to insect stings, you can still enjoy the great outdoors by seeking medical advice, carrying your prescribed medication at all times, and taking precautions to avoid being stung.
This campaign, supported by an educational grant from ALK, also raises awareness of the treatment options available. Some people with insect sting allergy may be suitable for immunotherapy (also known as desensitisation). Immunotherapy is available at specialist centres across the UK and consists of a course of injections of insect venom, starting at very low doses. If you have an insect allergy, please speak to your GP who should refer you to an allergy clinic.
Visit the #BeeAllergyAware webpage for more information. In a rush? You can also download our free mini-guide.