Two dozen dead, hundreds hurt in attacks by giant hornets in China

Sept. 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

BEIJING, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- At least 28 people have died and hundreds injured in a series of attacks by giant hornets in northwest China, officials say.

Most of the casualties were in remote areas of three cities in southern Shaanxi province, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday.

The Asian giant hornets, which are about 2 inches long, have highly toxic venom that is injected into a person with a quarter-inch stinger.

One person was treated for acute renal failure at a hospital in Ankang after he was stung on the head and legs. He said the insects chased him more than 600 feet.

A 55-year-old woman said she was stung more than 200 times and had been hospitalized for a month.

The Ankang fire department has removed more than 300 hornet nests from residential areas since July.

A director of the Ankang Disease Control Center said swarms of the flying bugs were common in the area every fall.

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