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Summer Safety – Mosquito Bites

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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