In a tragic turn of events, a 42-year-old man and his three-year-old daughter who belong to Mayiladuthurai district in Tamil Nadu, died this week after they were attacked by a swarm of wasps on Monday. The child died on July 20 while her father passed away three days later.
According to the Manalmedu police, who have registered a complaint regarding this, the father and daughter were going by bike to have the pump-set in their agricultural field fixed when they noticed something fall from a palm tree. Within seconds, they were surrounded by close to 75 wasps which the police identify as yellow banded wasps (syntomeida ipomoea). Others who came to their rescue, too, were reportedly injured.
"This bee is called kathandu in Tamil and while you may survive the sting of a couple of them, having over 70 stings is fatal. It is very unusual but it has unfortunately killed father and child," said a police officer at the Manalmedu station.
According to a research paper titled 'A Fatal Case of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) after Multiple Wasp Sting (Chilli red wasp/Kathandu) – Case Report', "Toxic effects due to Hymenoptera venoms are not usually seen in man unless there have been many, usually hundreds of stings. Anaphylactic reactions are a commoner cause of death. Intravascular haemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, acute renal failure as toxic effects of hymenoptera bites are known. DIC in wasp sting is rare."
Police state that the duo suffered immense pain and the child Inshika didn't survive for over a day. Her father Anandkumar was shifted to the Tiruvarur government hospital but couldn’t be saved.
He is survived by his wife Sangavi and an elder daughter. Following a complaint filed by his wife, the police informed the fire service and rescue department about the wasps, who then removed the nest from the location.