Killer Hornets Are Taking Over China – and Europe Might be Next

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Planning a trip to China soon? Watch out for killer hornets. It’s not just the country’s pollution that’s bad for you; Asian giant hornets have been making their way into Shaanxi Province recently, and at the size of your thumb, they’re not only a threat to local honeybees but humans as well. The hornets can actually be fatal, and the stats aren’t encouraging. In city of Ankang, the fatality toll is twice 2002-2005 average; this year alone, there have been 419 injuries and 28 deaths in the area.

Even those outside of China have cause for concern; the Chinese hornet, which is a smaller species of than the one in China, has already appeared in France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.To get a visual of what an attack would be like, read this report via Quartz:

Here’s a chilling scene that Chen Changlin, an Ankang farmer, witnessed one evening a few days ago. As he harvested rice on evening, hornets swarmed a woman and child working nearby. When they reached Chen, they stung him for three minutes straight. Chen made it; the other two died. “The more you run, the more they want to chase you,” said another victim, whose kidneys were ravaged by the venom.

What does stung by one of these hornets feel like? Similar to having a “hot nail” through your leg according to entomologist. And that’s if you live to tell the story.