Mequon man dies after suffering bee/wasp sting

MEQUON -- 46-year-old Vladimir Novak of Mequon died after he went into anaphylactic shock following a bee sting.

Novak was outside his Mequon home Monday when he was stung by a bee or wasp and almost immediately went into shock. The Ozaukee County Coroner said Novak died as a result of anaphylactic shock due to the sting.

"It's really pretty rare that a person would have a reaction to this and even rarer to have a fatality from it. The reaction can proceed fairly quickly and within just a matter of minutes you could have the drop in the blood pressure and choking," Dr. Walter Brummond with the Allergy & Asthma Centers said.

Novak's neighbor is a doctor, who rushed over to try to save him, but was unsuccessful.

Brummond says even a person with a severe bee allergy could get stung once and not feel any side effects, but the second time that person is stung could be fatal because anti-bodies build up over time.

"The best thing is to get tested and then that will tell you if you have the significant allergic reactivity," Brummond said.

Novak's family is devastated by his untimely death. They say the world lost a wonderful man, husband and father. They will remember him during funeral services Friday.

Brummond said only about 100 people in the U.S. die every year from stings, but as uncommon as these incidents are, Novak's case proves it's something not to be taken lightly.