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Summer weather invites more people to spend time outside. Unfortunately, it can also invite more opportunity for bug bites, stings, and other mishaps. Read along as we explore what some of the most common types of bites and stings are in our area, how to treat bug bites and stings, as well as how you can lower your chances for getting bitten.
The most common types of bug bites and stings in our area are:
Mosquito bites are, perhaps, the most common type of bug bite that we receive, and it’s usually more of a nuisance. However, many viral illnesses are spread by mosquito bites, especially if bitten while travelling internationally. Your PCP and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website are usually great sources of information in how you can prevent infections and stay healthy while traveling.
Treating Mosquito Bites
Treating Bee/Wasp Stings
After a bee or wasp sting, you should:
If swelling is very large or if symptoms don’t start improving over the next 48 hours (as most reactions should), should visit your primary care physician or urgent care.
Head to the Emergency Room, or Call 9-1-1 If…
If you have had a severe reaction to a sting before, make sure to discuss this with your primary care physician or allergist to make a plan for prevention/treatment in the future.
Treating Tick Bites
Note what the tick looks like (color, white spot, size, engorgement). Why? Different ticks carry different infections, and this information is helpful for diagnosis. Presently, North Carolina does not have a very high rate of Lyme disease, therefore preventative treatment for Lyme disease is not recommended. The CDC has excellent information on its website about tick bites and tick-borne illnesses.
The most effective mosquito and tick prevention is wearing long sleeves, pants tucked into socks when in high risk areas (example: ares where there is standing water). You may also use permethrin-treated clothing, and/or DEET or picaridin repellents on exposed arms/legs. If using repellents on children, it is very important to wash their hands after application to avoid ingestion.
Everyone should check themselves and their children for attached ticks after spending time outdoors, as the best prevention is early removal of attached ticks.
Dr. Aleksandra (Sasha) Avery is a Primary Care Physician at WakeMed Physician Practices, Garner Primary Care. Her clinical interests include: chronic disease management in adults and pediatric and adolescent outpatient care.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610