Popular Quebec Mayor Dies from Wasp Attack

Popular Quebec Mayor Dies from Wasp Attack

La Prairie, Quebec – The mayor of this small city of 23,000 people has died after seven years of public service. This past Sunday, Mayor Lucie Roussel was in Stratford some 220 kilometers (~136 miles) away from her hometown. She accidentally stepped on a hornets nest incurring their wrath and was stung by at least 15 wasps. Those not familiar with wasps will note that their sting is much more painful that a bee sting and they are able to sting a person repeatedly. Mrs. Roussel was rushed to an area hospital where she later died. The 51-year-old woman leaves behind two young adult children ages 18 and 19.

Apparently, Mrs. Roussel was allergic to wasp bites and the sheer volume of stings induced anaphylactic shock. As per the town’s deputy mayor, she had earned the respect of her constituents. Mayor Roussel was first elected to office in 2007 and subsequently reelected. A local resident by the name of Sylvie Trepanier explained that the mayor was known to have a caring heart who was tempered by a strong sense of fairness. Mrs. Trepanier was unable to hold back the tears as she was overcome by emotions at the unexpected passing away of the mayor.

As it turns out, Mayor Roussel had been stung by a wasp the week before. Apparently, a person may have an allergy to wasp stings and not know it. This is because a single sting isn’t enough to trigger the allergic reaction. It is when a second sting in close proximity occurs that the reaction is triggered. As previously stated, Mrs. Roussel stepped on a nest which had a swarm of hornets attacking her. An allergist from the McGill University Health Centre concluded that it was the sheer volume of bites that proved to be too much for her.

Original Story Below:

La Prarie Mayor Succumbs to Wasp Attack

The mayor of La Prairie Quebec was vacationing with her family when she was attacked by a swarm of wasps. It’s estimated that at least 15 wasps attacked 51-year old Lucie Roussel, who died of anaphylactic shock as a result of the multiple insect stings. She had served as mayor of La Prairie since 2003.

Laurent Blais, the town’s deputy mayor told CTV News that Roussel did not have any known allergy to wasps. Roussel was taking a holiday at her second home in Straford when she stepped on a wasp nest, which triggered the attack.

‘Oh she was respected a lot,’ said La Prairie resident Sylvie Trepanier to CTV.
‘She was a wonderful woman and a fair woman and a woman of heart. She cared for us all those years.’

Experts who spoke to CTV said that sometimes an allergy is not revealed unless someone is stung within quick succession of each other.

Speaking to CTV, Dr. Joseph Shuster, an allergist at McGill University Health Centre, said dying from an insect sting is extremely rare.

Although emergency paramedics were called to the scene and immediately administered an EpiPen to help revive the ailing Roussel, she was pronounced dead at a local hospital. A specialist in emergency medicine indicated that although Roussel may not have been allergic to the insects, having such a huge amount of wasp venom introduced into her system was the likely cause of the fatality.

Many of the Mayor’s supporters expressed shock and sadness to hear that she had passed away under such bizarre circumstances and at such a young age. Her husband passed away suddenly just a few years ago after suffering a heart attack, leaving her a single parent to a daughter and a son. Roussel was trained as a lawyer and first began serving her community as interim mayor in 2003, winning the election outright two years later. She had recently won her third term in office and was very well liked and respected by the people in and around La Prairie, located just outside Montreal in the province of Quebec. Even Dennis Coderre, who serves as Mayor of Montreal, made a public statement about Mayor Roussel’s passing, offering his sympathies to her children and family members. There has been no word regarding funeral arrangements.

Her friend Reine Herbert said that she feels for her children, who also lost their father six years ago.

According to Health Canada, severe allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylactic shock) occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a particular allergen or irritant. These reactions can be triggered by certain foods or food ingredients, insect stings and medications.

Popular Quebec Mayor Dies from Wasp Attack

Popular Quebec Mayor Dies from Wasp Attack

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