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Calgary woman develops blister ‘about the size of an egg’ after wasp sting

Click to play video: 'Calgary woman develops massive blister after wasp sting' Calgary woman develops massive blister after wasp sting
WATCH: She's not allergic to wasps, but Jackie Gilluley says her latest sting has developed into a serious issue. Michael King talks to an allergist about the unusual reaction – Aug 21, 2018

WARNING: This post contains images of the blister.

Wasps are part of any summer activity in Calgary and for most people, they’re no more than flying pests.

But for Jackie Gilluley, what would normally be a short, painful bite, has turned into something much worse.

READ MORE: N.B. man dies after being stung by wasp but had never displayed signs of allergy

Calgary woman Jackie Gilluley hopes her experience will help more people to take wasp stings seriously. Provided to Global News

“I woke up in the morning and my leg had started to blister,” Gilluley said. “Then 48 hours after I was stung, the blister was about the size of an egg.”

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Gilluley said she had been stung many times before and never had a reaction.

Jackie Gilluley said about two days after she was stung by a wasp, she had developed an egg-sized blister. Provided to Global News

Gilluley may not be alone when it comes to adults who see severe reactions to wasp stings for the first time.

Allergist Dr. Alex Lyttle says being stung more often actually increases the chance of having a nasty reaction.

“With each sting, your antibody levels can increase,” Lyttle said. “So if you’re stung once and fine, your antibody level may have bumped up. So your next sting, you could potentially have a more significant reaction.”

Jackie Gilluley said she had been stung by wasps many times before and never had a reaction. Provided to Global News

Adult males are the most likely demographic to see a change, according to Lyttle. And if you’re allergic to one kind of sting, you may be susceptible to others.

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“If you’re allergic to hornets, you’re more likely to be allergic to wasps and yellow jackets.”

READ MORE: Residents concerned about wasp infestation at Pointe-Saint-Charles park

Gilluley hopes her experience will help more people to take wasp stings seriously.

“They may think they’re not allergic so [people] don’t have anything to worry about, but neither was I.”

One option Lyttle proposes to patients who have been stung many times is immunotherapy. Small amounts of the venom are injected, slowly building up tolerance and possibly lowering the chances of a severe reaction.

Lyttle suggests taking antihistamines to treat less severe stings and going to see a doctor if a sting causes a blister or other severe reaction.

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