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Although the exact mechanism of atrial fibrillation after European hornet sting is unknown, it may involve vagally mediated shortening of atrial refractoriness, the venom itself, and/or the human catecholamine response to bee stings (2,4).
In such circumstances, it is best to take to the dug out, an angry hornet packing a kick like a horse - in fact just seven hornet stings contain sufficient venom to kill one
An autopsy yesterday confirmed the cause of death was due to the hornet's venom, although doctors were unable to confirm whether Mr Williams had a known allergy to bee, wasp or hornet stings.