Jun 23, 2023
Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Dr. Mary-Ann Phillips, a pediatrician at Pediatric Associates, talks about what you need to know about summer safety.
1). What happens when a mosquito bites you?
It is quite interesting as the female mosquito bites people and animals to get a blood meal. Most female mosquitoes cannot produce eggs without a blood meal. Male mosquitoes do not bite people and animals.
When a mosquito bites you, it pierces the skin using a special mouthpart (proboscis) to suck up blood. As the mosquito is feeding, it injects saliva into your skin. Your body reacts to the saliva resulting in a bump and itching.
Some people have only a mild reaction to a bite or bites. Other people react more strongly, and a large area of swelling, soreness, and redness can occur.
2). What should parents do if their child is bitten by a mosquito?
Treatment is rather simple, as you should:
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and itching. Reapply ice pack as needed.
- Apply a mixture of baking soda and water, which can help reduce the itch response.
- Use an over-the-counter anti-itch or antihistamine cream to help relieve itching. Follow the product label directions.
It is important to note that bites can become infected.
- Do not scratch bites, as these can become infected.
- An infected bite may appear red, feel warm, or a red streak will spread outward from the bite.
- See a healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.
Even more important is that mosquito spread germs through bites.
- Viruses like West Nile and dengue and parasites like malaria can make you sick.
- A mosquito gets infected with a virus or parasite when it bites a person or animal that is infected. The infected mosquito can spread germs to other people or animals through bites.
- Not everyone infected with a mosquito-borne germ gets sick.
3). So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites?
Make sure that you:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin.
- Try to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home
This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.
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