Bug Bite — Or Something Worse?


With each new season, come new bugs and potentially
infectious diseases. Now, most bug bites and stings are mild and cause not much more than
itching, and discomfort. There is always a chance for more serious infections and allergic
reactions. Do we all know what signs to look out for when those more serious reactions
occur? We had a chance to speak with Dr. Candida
Suffridge of Baylor Scott & White Healthcare in Georgetown, Texas. She goes over how to
prevent bug bites and what to look out for when a more serious allergic reaction occurs. “Generally insect bites are not serious
and are what we call self limited. So people can take an antihistamine to kind of deal
with the itching, maybe use a topical cream. However, if a patients has any symptoms other
than the local injury, they should definitely present to their doctor. Those symptoms could
be a fever, it could be a spreading rash. Some other symptoms to look out for are swelling
of the lips, eyelids or throat, dizziness, faintness or confusion and rapid heartbeat.
If these signs are visible seek medical care right away. If it’s possible, take the bug
or insect with you if you don’t know what it is, so that doctors can better understand
how to treat you. Dr. Suffridge says that for children and older
adults, because their immune system is usually weaker, it is important to keep a closer eye
on them. I think in general diseases are more serious
in young children, so less than 5 years old. And older individuals over 65. It’s really a matter of how healthy their
immune system is. So certainly young children are still developing that immune system. And
there are some immunosuppressive medications and other drugs that can affect their immune
system. Also is your age, your immune system isn’t quite as healthy as it used to be. Of course, the first step to prevent an infection
or virus is to prevent a bite or sting in the first place. It’s really important to in general, stay
away from areas that have a lot of insects, but if you’re going to be around those areas
keep your skin covered with some light clothing and certainly wear insect repellant. So we know that mosquitoes breed and live
in stagnant water, so it’s very important you don’t keep standing water around the
house. Some other tips to keep bugs away and off
of you include staying indoors at dawn and dusk, when the flying insects are most likely
to hit. And to avoid stings from honeybees, wasps, and yellowjackets, avoid bright colors
and floral patterns. I think what’s most important is that you
remember that you can get an infection from any kind of an insect bite. Bug bites are going to happen, so when they
do, just be aware of your symptoms. And if the young or elderly get bit or stung, watch
them a little more closely just to be sure they are ok. Remember to wear loose fitting
clothing when in areas where bugs could be. Use insect repellent and re-apply it if you
perspire or decide to get in water. If you do have or notice any symptoms, seek medical
care right away. For dailyRx News, I’m Gabe Garza

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