The New York Times reports:
Swarms of giant hornets have killed 42 people in Shaanxi Province and injured more than 1,600 in recent months, according to Xinhua, the official news agency. Government officials have yet to figure out why their attacks have been so widespread and deadly.
Officials said on Thursday that emergency response teams were working to locate and destroy the nests of Asian giant hornets, the species involved in the attacks. Their venom is highly toxic and can cause shock and renal failure.
Hornet attacks have been reported elsewhere in China as well. Last month, a swarm attacked a primary school in the Guangxi Autonomous Region in southern China, injuring 30 people, including 23 children.
Up to two inches long, the brown and gold Asian giant, or Vespa mandarinia, is the world’s largest hornet species.