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Dr Andrew Baker - Immunologist and Allergy Specialist - North Shore Auckland

Private Service, Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine

Bee/Wasp Allergy - diagnosis and management (I refer to ADHB for desensitisation)

For those with bee or wasp allergy, reactions can range from mild, through to life threatening. 

Bee or wasp allergy can cause anaphylaxis.  There is a fatality approximately once every 2 - 3 years in New Zealand from bee or wasp anaphylaxis.

For those who have had anaphylaxis, the chance of a severe reaction with each bee sting in future is about 75%.

For bee or wasp allergy, we can assess, test and diagnose the allergy.  I can provide an emergency management action plan for you and educate on Epipen use.

I can identify if you have had anaphylaxis, or are at risk of anaphylaxis and what to do about that.

If you have had a large localised reaction (spreading to the tissues from the sting site) I can provide a management plan for future stings.

Desensitisation is very beneficial if you have had anaphylaxis to a bee or wasp sting and is an option to consider.  The treatment has several different protocols, with frequent injections in the initial days/weeks but then monthly injections for 5 years after that.  The risk of an allergic reaction after doing desensitisation is <5%.

I can discuss if desensitisation is right for you, and if it is I will refer you to ADHB Immunology at Auckland City Hospital to be considered for the desensitisation program there.

ADHB Immunology would usually get your dose up to a regular monthly dose after several weeks of appointments, and then have your GP do the ongoing injections for the next 5 years on a monthly basis.

This page was last updated at 1:09PM on September 7, 2021.