A woman has survived being stung at least 200 times by thousands of bees outside a home in California, according to United States fire authorities.
The woman in her 50s, known only as Maria, was reportedly the housekeeper and was going to get a mop out of her car at the home in Lake Forest, east of Los Angeles, according to ABC News America.
Orange County Fire Authority captain Tony Bommarito said rescuers had to grab a fire extinguisher to get rid of the African honey bees, also known locally as “killer bees”.
“They [rescuers] grabbed the first thing they could, which was a carbon dioxide extinguisher, sprayed the patient and tried to get as many bees as they could off her.”
***Update on the the female patient that was transported in critical condition from multiple bee stings today in Lake Forest. ***The son stated that his mother is doing better tonight and is expected to survive.
— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) July 17, 2018
Mr Bommarito told California television station KNBC the woman would face a lengthy recovery.
“When you get somebody stung hundreds of times, [bees] injecting that venom, you’re going to have a serious issue,” he said.
“Anybody, allergy or not, is going to be in serious condition after that.”
Another firefighter, Ryan Wilson, told KNBC the bees were in clusters “maybe the size of a golf ball all over her”.
“She had them on her face, around her mouth, around her ears, her neck and her hair,” he said.
Local media reported there were between 30,000 to 80,000 bees in the 4.5-kilogram nest, which had been in a gas meter outside the house for six months.
Neighbour Cynthia Emmett said she felt “powerless” during the attack.
“It was so horrendous. It was awful. And I felt so powerless. There was nothing I could do,” she said.
“She was covering her head with her hair but then they started stinging her head.”