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Beacon of HOPE Wellness Committee: Mosquitoes bugging you?

August 7, 2019
By Caryle Regan , Pine Island Eagle

Well, the summer is in high gear and with summer comes those pearly winged visitors. Mosquitoes and other bugs find humans to be tasty treats. Most of the time bug bites are only puffy, red, itchy annoyances that drive you crazy, but sometimes they can have serious consequences. Why? Some people are deathly allergic to particular types of insects.

According to WebMD, there are three types of insect bite reactions.

1. Normal reaction. There is pain, swelling and redness around the bite site. Symptoms usually only occur at the site. They include pain, redness, pimple-like spots, mild to moderate swelling, warmth and itching.

2. Large local reaction. There is swelling that extends beyond the bite site. While this can look ugly and the swelling can be alarming, these reactions look their worst at about 48 hours after being bitten and they usually heal within 5-10 days.

3. Anaphylactic or severe reactions are medical emergencies and you should call 911 immediately. Symptoms are: Trouble breathing; swelling of the throat, nose or mouth tissue; hives (a red, itchy rash that has spread beyond the area of the initial bite); wheezing and trouble swallowing; anxiety and restlessness; and/or dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure.

Treatment for normal bites: DON'T SCRATCH. Wash the area with soap and water. Apply calamine lotion or anti itch cream Place an ice pack on the area.

Steps to avoid being bitten (insect food).

- Stay indoors at dawn and dusk and in the early evening.

- When out of doors, wear long pants and long sleeves.

- Apply bug spray with DEET or picaridin to all exposed skin.

- Get rid of standing water in your yard (even small amounts).

- Make sure there are no holes in your screens and no open windows without screens.

- Wearing colors that contrast with the background you are moving or standing against may also interest mosquitoes.

Are some people "mosquito magnets?" Yes, they are according to WebMD. Mosquitoes are drawn to carbon dioxide. So, if you are a large or a tall person or if you are breathing hard (thus exhaling more carbon dioxide), you have a greater chance of being bitten. Pregnant women are also more prone to bites because of the greater amount of carbon dioxide they give off.



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