A Bunbury man who died last month is believed by his widow to have been killed by an ant bite in what could be one of the first cases of its kind in WA.
Council worker John Banks, 48, died on February 19, a day after suffering anaphylactic shock just 350m from an ambulance depot.
His widow Katrina Banks is pushing for an inquest into the cause and circumstances of his death after he rang complaining he was being bitten by ants while working near Parade Road in the centre of Bunbury.
Mr Banks had suffered severe allergies to bee stings in the past, she said.
"John called me after he'd been bitten and said 'hello sweetheart how are you' and then turned around and said 'ants are biting me'," she said.
"I said well flick them off then, and he said no, ants are biting me and it's got me worse than a bee-sting, because he was anaphylactic to bee stings, I could tell in his voice he was really struggling."
Ms Banks said paramedics and a police officer worked hard to resuscitate her husband. He was taken to hospital five minutes away where he died a day later.
She said she was convinced he had been bitten by an ant, not a bee, and had discovered "jumper jack" ants had killed people in Tasmania with bee sting allergies.
Ms Banks said a report was being prepared for the Coroner.
Dr Simon Brown, head of the centre of clinical research in emergency medicine at the University of WA and an expert in anaphylaxis, said ant bite deaths from "jumper jack" ants had occurred in Tasmania.
Dr Brown said it was the first case of ant bite death he had heard of in WA, but stressed it was yet to be proved. "In Tasmania jumper jack causes quite a few deaths but they're pretty uncommon in mainland Australia," he said.
via Ant bite may have killed SW worker - The West Australian.