Children stung near Nelson




At least 20 people, including children, have been stung multiple times by German wasps while at a Pirate Day at Tahunanui Beach today.

An ambulance spokesperson says nine were taken to the Nelson Hospital emergency department, while one woman was admitted to hospital in a serious condition because of an allergic reaction.

She is now in a stable condition, while those taken to the emergency department have been given painkillers and antihistamines and are being monitored.

“Most of the kids got stung, I got stung, my grandson got stung,” says local man George Smith.

Ten children were taken to their GPs by their parents.

Those affected have been stung between two and six times each.

Among those stung are seven and eight-year-olds from Victory School and it is believed around 70 children were at the beach having a Pirate Day.

Bug expert Ruud Kleinpaste says last year’s mild winter means there are more wasps around and it’s not unusual for them to attack like this.

“German wasps don’t have a sense of humour,” he says. “When they’ve got a nest and you come near it, they want to defend it.”

The wasps are also attracted to the colour blue.

“They locate, visually, who is near the nest entrance, they tag you by stinging you and leaving a scent there and that gives the whole nest the idea of, ‘follow him’.”

Council contractors have exterminated six other nests this week and say it is rare to find nests near the beach.

3 News

Children stung near Nelson
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