CHINA (CBS) -- At least 41 people were killed and over 1,600 injured after a surge in the number of wasp attacks in China's northwestern Shaanxi Province over the past couple of months, Chinese state media has reported.
Hospitals saw an influx of patients suffering from severe stings after being attacked by wasps, sometimes in swarms, official broadcaster CCTV said.
Victims lay in hospitals beds with stings covering parts of their arms and heads covered in stings, the report showed.
Some were in a critical condition and at least eight have died after arriving in hospital, CCTV said.
Most of the attacks have taken place in the cities of Hanzhong, Ankang and Shangluo and involved farmers and other people working outside.
Farmer He Quancheng said he was besieged by a swarm after he accidentally knocked down a hive from a tree.
"The wasps flew at me and surrounded me. I couldn't stand it, so I used a basket to cover my head. That's how I saved myself," he said.
To prevent further attacks, local fire departments have removed and destroyed hundreds of hives around the province, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.