BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Bees and wasps are enough to give the toughest guy a scare, but in China, giant hornets are leaving victims with bullet hole sized wounds and hanging on for their lives. This isn’t an off brand b-movie found at the bottom of the $5 DVD bin at WalMart. Since July, hornets have swarmed school children and unsuspecting farm workers.
Mu Conghui recounts her hornet attack in Ankang City with Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua:
“The hornets were horrifying. They hit right at my head and covered my legs. All of a sudden, I was stung, and I couldn’t move. ”
“Even now, my legs are covered with sting holes.”
It has been two months since Mu Conghui’s attack while she was tending to her millet crop and she has endured 13 dialysis treatments (to remove toxins), 200 stitches and is still hospitalized and unable to move her legs.
The Asian giant hornet, or vespa mandarinia, are terrorizing scores of people in China accounting for 42 deaths and 1,675 injuries with their powerful, venomous sting. It is the largest hornet species in the world and carries a nasty disposition to go with its sting. The hornets are found throughout East and Southeast Asia in countries like China, Korea, Japan, India and Nepal. The hornets grow to roughly 1.4 to 1.5 inches in length, about the size of a human thumb. The queen can grow even bigger, with bodies that can reach 2 inches in length.
The deadly venom carried by the hornet destroys red blood cells which can result in multiple organ failure and death. Although the toxicity of the venom is a major concern, the allergic reactions to the sting of the insect triggers some people’s airways to close or even cardiac arrests.
The hornets are attracted to human sweat, alcohol, and sweet flavors and smells. According to Xinhua, they are also especially sensitive to running animals or people.
One victim said, ” the more you run, the more they want to chase you.”
Some victims have even described being chased by swarms of the giant hornets for about the lengths of two football fields. Another danger about the giant hornets is, unlike their smaller counterparts, their stinger stays attached allowing them to sting as much as they like.
No need to worry for now. Experts say that the flying terrors are highly unlikely to travel to the United States or even the United Kingdom because they are not adapted to the climates they would encounter making the trip.