When Should You Worry About A Mosquito Bite?

MosquitoesWhen Should You Worry About A Mosquito Bite?

So, when should you worry about a mosquito bite? They pierce the skin to draw blood, releasing saliva into the bloodstream. The immune system responds to foreign substances by generating histamine, which attracts white blood cells to the bite site. Inflammation and irritation in the bite region are caused by histamine.

Female mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide produced by our bodies during breathing. Body scents like sweat and lactic acids can also be used to identify people who are fit for feeding. Mosquito bites are also attracted by body heat and activity.

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What Happens When A Mosquito Bites?

Female mosquitoes have sharp mouthparts called proboscis. They pierce the skin to draw blood and in the process, they also release saliva into the blood. This causes the body’s immune system to react to the foreign substances, releasing histamine which drives white blood cells to the area of the bite. Histamine is what causes inflammation and irritation in the bite area.

What are the risk factors for mosquito bites?

Our body emits carbon dioxide during the breathing process and this is what attracts female mosquitoes. Additionally, body odours such as sweat and lactic acids can also help identify people suitable for feeding. Body heat and movements also contribute to attracting mosquito bites.

Mosquito Bite Symptoms

It is important to distinguish mosquito bites from other bug bites in order to treat them efficiently and in a timely manner. Below listed are the symptoms of mosquito bites:

Common symptoms

  • Redness and swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Dark spots 
  • Blisters

Severe symptoms

When Should You Worry About A Mosquito Bite?

  • Swollen glands including the lymph nodes, fever, and hives
  • Anaphylaxis (A condition that causes wheezing, fainting, swelling, and/or hives, usually a result of an allergic reaction to mosquito bites)

Severe symptoms are a cause of concern and require immediate medical attention. Additionally, mosquitoes can be carriers of deadly viruses and parasites that can be easily transmitted through their bites. Below listed are a few diseases that are transmitted through mosquito bites:

  • Yellow fever – Common indicators are fever and sore throat. This virus causes inflammation in the spinal cord and brain.
  • Malaria – Early diagnosis is essential to control and treat malaria. Parasites carried by Anopheles mosquitoes destroy red blood cells and the results can be life-threatening.
  • Dengue fever -. This is yet another life-threatening disease spread through mosquito bites. Common symptoms include joint pain, rashes, muscle soreness, and high fever. In extreme cases, the disease can cause shock, severe bleeding, and even death. 
  • West Nile virus – This is a tricky one to detect as the disease can show flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all. This disease affects the nervous system.
  • Chikungunya – The symptoms are similar to dengue fever, such as joint pain, headache, rash, and fever. People affected with chikungunya require lots of fluids and bed rest. 
  • Zika virus – The common symptoms of the Zika virus are rashes, joint pain, and fever. The initial symptoms pass usually after a week but can have lasting effects especially congenital anomalies if a woman were to become pregnant after being bitten by a mosquito transmitting the Zika virus.

Mosquito Bite Treatments

As most of the above-mentioned diseases may show common symptoms, a blood test is required in order to diagnose the actual condition. Most diseases can be easily treated if detected in the earlier stages. Also, treating mosquito bites as soon as you see them can reduce the risk of infection to an extent. Below listed are a few commonly used treatments:

  • Wash the area of the bites – Washing with soap and water helps disinfect the area and keep bacteria away.
  • Cold compress – Apply an ice pack to the bites. This helps soothe the skin and also provides relief against itchiness.
  • Calamine lotion – This is an effective antihistamine that reduces inflammation and relieves irritation. It helps the bites heal faster too.

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Final Words

When Should You Worry About A Mosquito Bite?

In most cases, people don’t get sick from mosquito bites. This of course depends on the type and species of the mosquitoes. If you feel that your symptoms are aggravating than usual, we strongly recommend consulting a doctor and getting a blood test done immediately. As discussed, most mosquito-borne diseases can be treated if diagnosed in the early stages. Taking preventive measures in getting rid of mosquitoes at home can solve the problem in the long run. Always be prepared, as living in a tropical area means that you will have to deal with mosquitoes at some point.

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