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AAAAI Offers Advice on Stinging Insect Allergies

per wasps -- slender, elongated bodies that are black, brown or red and have yellow markings
Hornets -- black or brown with white, orange or yellow markings and are larger than yellow jackets
Fire ants -- reddish-brown ants living in large mounds, mostly in warmer climates

It is also critical for anyone with allergies to insect stings to take precautions to avoid a potentially dangerous reaction. The AAAAI recommends the following tips to avoid being stung:

Avoid the 'territory' of the stinging insect's nest. These insects are most likely to sting if their homes are disturbed.
Remain calm, quiet and slowly move away from stinging insects. Do not swat them.
Avoid brightly colored clothing and perfume outdoors that may attract stinging insects.

Be careful when cooking, eating or drinking sweet beverages outdoors. Keep all food and beverages covered until consuming them.
Avoid loose-fitting garments that can trap insects between material and the skin.

When to see an allergy/asthma specialist

If you have experienced a reaction to insect stings or you think you may be allergic, consult with an allergist/immunologist to accurately diagnose your condition. An allergist/immunologist is the best qualified medical professional trained to manage the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of allergies and asthma.

An allergist/immunologist might also suggest allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy treatment. Venom immunotherapy shots take effect within just a few months. Venom immunotherapy is the closest thing to a 'cure' for allergic reactions. It is shown to be 97% effective in preventing future allergic reactions.

The AAAAI's How the Allergist/Immunologist Can Help: Consultation and Referral Guidelines Citing the Evidence provide information to assist patients and health care professionals in determining when a patient may need consultation or on
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