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Insect venom


After fading of acute symptoms, the patient should soon present to a doctor specialized in allergic diseases to discuss future treatment. In patients with large local reactions, the patients’ history is taken and clinical symptoms are examined. Further diagnostic tests (skin tests with insect venom, and blood serum analysis for IgE antibodies specific to venom) are only required in patients with a history of systemic reactions. Diagnostic procedures also comprise an analysis of individual risk factors indicating future severe sting reactions and a potentially worse outcome. Intense exposure (e.g., with beekeeping or certain outdoor occupations or activities) is associated with a higher risk of re-stings. Several factors (e.g. frequent stings, older age, elevated serum concentration of baseline tryptase, mastocytosis, ACE-inhibitor medication) may increase the risk for a more severe anaphylactic reaction. Some risk factors may be eliminated but even if many risk factors cannot be altered, assessing them may help the doctor to decide on the type of future therapy.