Since July, hornet attacks have killed 42 people and injured 1,675 people in three cities in Shaanxi province, according to the local government. Among those attacked, 206 are receiving treatment in hospitals, reports CNN.
Local officials have been quoted as saying that drier and warmer weather this year may have contributed to a rise in hornet numbers in the area. Authorities are destroying nests, putting up warning signs and raising public awareness via television, radio and the Internet, it said.
Residents have been told to wear long sleeves when they go out, and not to try to drive away the swarms.
"The National Health and Family Planning Commission has deployed emergency medical treatment and stepped up prevention and propaganda work to help minimize casualties," Xinhua said.
Hornets mate and migrate in September and October when they are at their most aggressive, according to local media. Their stings can cause allergic reactions and multiple organ failure.