Dangerous hornets - level 3

Dangerous hornets - level 3

09-10-2013 06:00


Firefighters in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province are fighting back, removing hornets' nests after 41 people were killed by the insects.

Hospitals, such as this one in Hanzhong, are full of wasp sting victims, with more than sixteen hundred people injured across three cities. In this hospital alone, doctors have been unable to save eight people, and four of the nearly 90 injured are still in a critical condition.

He Quancheng, a local farm worker, was attacked by a swarm of wasps when he accidentally knocked down the hive from a tree. Experts believe the deadly insects are Asian Giant Hornets, or Vespa mandarinia–a species with highly toxic, 6mm sting that can cause anaphylactic shock. Attacks by the hornets occur every year in this part of China, but they’ve been much more active this year. Most of the victims are rural farm or rice field workers, who get caught in swarms. Ankang city has been worst-hit in 2013, with a surge in wasp attacks leading to 19 deaths since July.

Firefighters in Ankang, Hanzhong and Shangluo are continuing to remove hives from populated areas to reduce the risk of attack.

Difficult words: hornet (animal which looks like a big wasp), insect (small animal with six legs), hive (nest), species (kind of animal), sting (sharp part of insect's body), anaphylactic (allergic), swarm (big group of insects), surge (increase).


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