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Deadly Wasp Attacks in Shaanxi

Deadly wasps have killed six people since the start of September in Ankang, a city in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, a hospital was quoted by Xi'an's Chinese Business View on October 31.



Ankang Central Hospital has also seen 41 serious injuries in two months as a result of the insects' stings, said Wang Xingchun, director of the hospital's hematology department.


The city's health authority said there have been around three hundred injuries and more than 10 deaths there from stings since the beginning of August.


Over the past four years, the insects have killed some 30 people in Ankang, and there have been reports of wasps attacking people in other areas including the countryside around Xi'an, the provincial capital.


Zou Chongyun, 48, a farmer in Yaohe Village in Ankang, was attacked by wasps on September 27 as she worked in her fields.


"Zou was in a serious condition when she arrived at our hospital. She would not have survived if she had arrived any later," said Jiang Xinwen, a doctor in Ankang Central Hospital.


Many farmers believe the increase in wasps is the result of environmental destruction.


"Many trees where the wasps used to nest were cut for farming development a decade ago, now the insects have to live in trees near the villages," said Lian Huisheng, a local township official.



(China Daily November 2, 2005)

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