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Bee-Ware Yellow Jacket Allergy

Yellow jacket allergy can be life threatening.
Bee-Ware Yellow Jacket Allergy

Q. I was a nanny last summer, and one day we were in the kids’ back yard. Their dog knocked a yellow jacket down, but it was still alive. Unaware of this, I walked on the deck where the yellow jacket was lying upside down. I stepped on it and immediately went down: my foot and calf swelled up within seconds and I found it hard to breathe.

I will be back with these children this summer. Should I ask my doctor for an EpiPen? I’m afraid this will happen again this spring or summer. Please help. I’m scared bee-less!

A. Tell your doctor about your reaction. We believe that this could be a strong indication of a serious allergic reaction and next time might be worse. Your doctor can prescribe an EpiPen and explain how and when to use it to avoid anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening. Even with a shot of epinephrine you would need to go immediately to an emergency department.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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