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A 50-year-old member asked:

What do you suggest if my father is deathly allergic to bees and wasps but i've never been stung by either. if don't want to find out the hard way. also are allergies genetic?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Rupp
Allergy and Immunology 22 years experience
No: Specific allergies are not genetic, but the tendency to develop allergies is. You cannot be allergic to something you have never been exposed to, so if you have never been sting you have nothing to worry about. If you are really worried an allergist can test for stinging insect allergies to rule this out.
Dr. Amrita Dosanjh
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 37 years experience
Mgt: There are different reactions to bee stings, including reactions that involve other systems, such as the lungs. Allergic tendencies are genetic, but I would suggest discussing specific tests with your PCP. Do you live near wasp or bee nests? Do you hike/camp in an area with a lot of insects?
Last updated Oct 16, 2015

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