Killer Hornets Claim 41 Lives in Central China

Environmental factors blamed for the increasing problem in Shaanxi province

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Detail from the head of a hornet.

Hornet attacks have long been a fact of life in China’s Shaanxi province, but the situation is worsening to an alarming degree. Authorities say that 41 people have been killed and 1,600 injured by Asian Giant Hornets since July. There are 206 people still hospitalized, 37 of whom are in a critical condition.

Local officials claim that drier and warmer weather has led to a rise in the number of hornets. Environmental activists say that urban development is intruding into hornet habitats and bringing more people into contact with the deadly insects.

Asian Giant Hornets can grow up to 5cm long. Being stung more than 30 times is considered a grave medical emergency.