A Brazilian has died suffering a severe allergic reaction after swallowing a bee while cycling.
Waldonilton de Andrade Reis was part of a group who were riding near the beach of Ponta Negra in the Amazonas state when the insect flew into his mouth.
It is understood that the pollinator’s sting caused an anaphylactic shock. Waldonilton, 43, reportedly started to feel sick and experienced breathing difficulties.
Brazilian newspapers speculate that the group’s remote training location had been too far from well-equipped medical institutions to save the life of the cycling and rowing enthusiast.
Waldonilton’s sister Rosilene Reis said: “There was no help, no health centre, no hospital close by.”
She said that a sergeant from the local fire department had arrived at the scene and managed to revive him.
Waldonilton was then taken to the nearest healthcare centre, SPA Joventina Dias, which is situated around eight kilometres (five miles) from the location of the incident.
He was then sent to the intensive care ward of the Delphina Rinaldi Abdel Aziz Clinic in Manaus.
Twenty-one days later, Waldonilton was pronounced brain-dead as doctors failed to register any vital.
Rosilene said: “The doctors told us that the brain can go up to three minutes without oxygenation. If there had been adequate care, someone could have resuscitated my brother.”
The Mayo Clinic describes anaphylaxis as “a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.”
On its website, the medical research centre in Rochester in the US State of Minnesota, warns that it “can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to, such as peanuts or bee stings.”
The Mayo Clinic’s fact sheet also says that “anaphylaxis causes the immune system to release a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock — blood pressure drops suddenly and the airways narrow, blocking breathing.”
It adds: “Signs and symptoms include a rapid, weak pulse, a skin rash, nausea and vomiting.”
According to the renowned institution, anaphylaxis “can be fatal” if it is not treated right away.
It is unclear whether Waldonilton was aware of his allergy. His family reportedly said they hope that adequate emergency services would be installed in the area to avoid similar fatalities.