Don’t Let the Summer Bugs Bite (Video)

Learn when to see a doctor if critters strike

mosquito on skin

One thing that bugs us about summer is, well, bugs – and the bites they leave behind. Some of them can even make us sick. Lara Danziger-Isakov, MD, is an expert on infectious diseases at Cleveland Clinic. She says mosquito bites can become a problem if you don’t leave them alone.

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“Mosquito bites can get super-infected, so if they go from being a little bit red and swollen to being larger red and swollen, having any kind of yellowish drainage or crusting over them, or if they appear to be getting warmer and larger, you really should let someone know,” Dr. Danziger-Isakov says.

 

Dr. Danziger-Isakov says fever and muscle weakness are also signs a bug bite may be getting the best of you. Mosquitoes can also carry West Nile virus, but adults are at a much higher risk of contracting the disease than children.

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Do a ‘tick check’

Tick bites are also a common concern this time of the year. They can transmit things like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or babesiosis, which can cause flu or malaria-like symptoms if you don’t remove the tick in time.

But Dr. Danziger-Isakov says you should do a “tick check” after spending time in high grass or the woods and remove them right away.

“Most ticks don’t cause infection unless they’ve been attached for more than 24 hours, or so. They actually have to be attached and have a feed and have time to transmit the infection,” she says.

A blood test is used to diagnose a tick-borne disease, which are treatable.

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The Centers for Disease Control recommends removing ticks with a pair of tweezers by grabbing it as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

Knowing what to look for will keep bug bites from becoming bigger than a nuisance.

When buying bug repellent look for the ingredient DEET to provide the best protection against mosquitoes.

More Information

Your Guide to Bug Repellents
Top Treatments for Kids’ Bee Stings and Bug Bites (Infographic)