Health Care

What's Going Around | Insect Bites

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Almost everyone has been bitten by a mosquito and while most of these insects are just a nuisance some of them spread viruses that cause disease. Mosquitoes, thrive in the rainy season, so right now is prime time for the disease-carrying pests. With kids outside and at camps during the summer, it's no surprise that Centra Care physicians are seeing an increase in insect bites.

Insect bites and stings can cause an immediate skin reaction. The bite from fire ants and the sting from bees, wasps, and hornets are usually painful. Bites caused by mosquitoes, fleas, and mites are more likely to cause itching than pain.

In most cases, bites and stings can be easily treated at home:

  • If it's a sting, remove the stinger by scraping the back of a credit card or other straight-edged object across the stinger. Do not use tweezers as squeezing may increase the amount of venom released.
  • Wash the site thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Place ice on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process.
  • If necessary, take an antihistamine or apply creams that reduce itching.
  • Over the next several days, watch for signs of infection. (such as increasing redness, swelling, or pain)

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes is to prevent mosquito bites.

Call 911 if you are with someone who has a severe reaction such as chest pain, face or mouth swelling, difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing, or goes into shock.

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