Fire ant stings are dangerous because of the venom injected into the victim that causes pain, swelling and other local affects plus the possible severity of the individual’s allergic reaction. This reaction may be so severe that victims might suffer sweating, slurred speech, chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling, nausea, vomiting and anaphylactic shock. Death can occur in sensitive individuals, including the very young or elderly. One source reports that fire ants sting as many as 14 million people each year, and anaphylaxis may occur in up to 6 percent of these individuals.