The deadly Asian giant hornet. (Photo: flickr /Shin Nagoya)

Giant hornets a type of wasp, and can be distinguished from ordinary, non-murderous bees by a lack of hair, a longer body have killed 42 and injured 1600 people in China since July according to media reports.

According to various media reports, Shaanxi province says 37 hospital patients are still in serious condition after hornet attacks, and almost 1700 people have been injured over the last three months.

Unlike bees, hornets don’t lose their stingers after they attack and can repeatedly sting it victim..

The hornets killing people in China are categorized as Asian giant hornets, that grow to an average of 3.7cm in length while it queens can grow even bigger.

The hornets’ venom contains a neurotoxin which dissolves human tissue.

“I ran and shouted for help, but the hornets chased me about 200m, and stung me for more than three minutes,” Chen Changlin who survived a recent hornet attack told China Youth Daily.

Japanese entomologist Masato Ono described their sting to National Geographic, saying that it “feels like a hot nail” being driven into your flesh.

The hornets are found throughout eastern Asian and they’re especially common in Japan, where they cause between 30-40 deaths a year.