What’s Bugging You?

Summer usually means picnics and family reunions, but it also means a reunion with insects that can wreak havoc on outdoor activities. Follow these tips to minimize the potential for bug bites and bee stings.

 

When outdoors – especially in wooded areas – wear long sleeves, pants, and socks to help protect your skin from insect bites. Be aware that insects may be drawn to scented soaps and perfumes. Also, cover food and drain or dump standing water, which attracts most insects.

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy, they can also make you really sick. Using insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself and your family, especially when traveling overseas. Repellent is the best way to prevent diseases like Zika that are primarily spread by mosquitoes.

Treating Bites and Bee Stings

If a sting occurs, remove the stinger as soon as possible by scraping the area with your fingernail or something with a flat surface, such as a credit card. For bee and wasp stings and non-poisonous spider bites, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and apply ice to reduce swelling. Continue to wash two or three times daily until the skin has healed.

Severe Reactions

If you are stung in the mouth, seek medical attention immediately. Severe swelling occurs quickly in oral mucous membranes and can block airways, making breathing difficult or impossible.

 

If you have a severe reaction to a bug bite, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room or call 911. Otherwise Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center is available to help, to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Mosquito Bites – More Than Just an Itch

Summertime means most of us will spend more time outdoors, but this means we must share our space with mosquitoes. Of the 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, roughly 200 can be found in the USA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquitos have been labeled the most dangerous animal in the world since estimates hold mosquitos responsible for hundreds of millions of malaria cases each year, as well as transmitting West Nile virus, yellow fever and the more notable Zika virus.

We are told by health professionals and monitoring agencies that the Zika virus is primarily spread to people through the bite of an insect, the Aedes aegypti mosquito to be more specific. Additionally, there have been some cases where Zika has been spread through having sexual relations with an infected male. Men and women who have traveled to Zika hot spots should consider condom use during pregnancy if the man has been exposed.

The most common symptoms of the Zika virus disease are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

The CDC goes on to state that the Zika virus is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to one week, but with Zika being linked to birth defects in women infected during pregnancy, the CDC recommends the following measures to protect you against being bitten:

  • Repellents – When used as directed, insect repellents are the best way to protect yourself and family from getting mosquito bites. The higher percentages of active ingredients provide longer lasting protection.
  • Cover up – When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside – Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens
  • Protect yourself when traveling – learn about the country-specific travel advice, health risks and how to stay safe.

Since specific areas where Zika is spreading, and most prevalent, are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time, please visit the CDC Travelers’ Health Site for the most updated information at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.