In Hopewell, N.Y., a historical marker commemorates the 1814 death of Timothy Ryan — the second known fatality in North America from an insect sting, according to the plaque. Two hundred years later, we still see at least 50 deaths a year from stings, many due to anaphylaxis.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, insect sting allergies from hornets, yellow jackets, paper wasps, fire ants, and honey bees affect up to 5 percent of the U.S. population. And while a sting can result in a medical emergency such as anaphylaxis, David Lang, MD, board-certified allergist at the Cleveland Clinic, says that venom immunotherapy results in a resounding 91 percent risk reduction.
Dr. Lang discussed insect sting prevention and treatment during an hour-long webinar presented by Allergy & Asthma Network on July 24, 2014.
Lang’s advice? “Everyone who has experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction to insect sting should carry two epinephrine auto-injectors, see a board-certified allergist and be offered the opportunity to receive venom immunotherapy,” he says.
Watch Dr. Lang’s webinar now and check out his presentation and slides. The webinar is sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P.
For more on venom allergy testing and immunotherapy, read “After the Sting” in the fall issue of Allergy & Asthma Today magazine.