When Should You Worry About A Mosquito Bite?

MosquitoesWhen Should You Worry About A Mosquito Bite?

So when is a mosquito bite cause for concern? To obtain blood, they pierce the skin, which causes the release of saliva into the bloodstream. Histamine is produced by the immune system in response to foreign substances, drawing white blood cells to the bite site. Histamine causes inflammation and irritation in the bite area.

Female mosquitoes are drawn to the carbon dioxide our bodies release when we breathe. Sweat and lactic acid odours from the body can also be used to detect persons who are healthy enough to eat. Body heat and movement are other factors that attract mosquito bites.

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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?

People seldom develop diseases from mosquito bites. Of course, the type and species of mosquitoes will determine this. We strongly advise seeing a doctor and getting a blood test done right away if you think your symptoms are worse than usual. As was mentioned, most illnesses spread by mosquitoes can be treated if discovered early on. Long-term solutions to the mosquito problem at home might be found by taking preventative measures. Always be ready since living in a tropical environment means you will eventually have to deal with mosquitoes.

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