Bug Bites and Stings - Experience

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Bug bites and stings introduction

Warm weather makes it easier to spend more time outdoors, but it also brings out the bugs. Ticks are usually harmless. But a tick bite can lead to Lyme disease, which is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria are transmitted to people by the black-legged deer tick, which is about the size of a pinhead and usually lives on deer. Infected ticks can also cause other diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Another insect-borne illness, West Nile virus, is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and usually produces mild symptoms in healthy people. But the illness can be serious for older people and those with compromised immune systems.

Most reactions to bees and other stinging insects are mild, but severe allergic reactions can be deadly. An allergic reaction can occur even if a person has been stung before with no complications.

Here are tips for preventing and treating bites and stings.

Return to Bug Bites and Stings

See what others are saying

Comment from: Birdie, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 18

I played golf two days ago and was bothered by small flies that bit hard right through my socks. Suddenly I was bitten by something I couldn't see and the pain was 10 times what I had been experiencing. The pain grew worse, but it was 24 hours before I got serious and inspected the site of the bite on my ankle. I found serious swelling just below the ankle bone, redness in the area of the bite, and an area of blue along the outer part of the foot where blood had obviously gathered. I took some Benadryl OTC, iced it, and spread some steroid cream on the site. I have no fever, itching, and no redness has advanced up my leg.

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Comment from: Bobby1, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 17

I was eaten up by red ants today, I ended up taking 50mg of Benadryl to get it under control. My feet and ankles swelled like a balloon that keeps going up. I am going to find me an allergist soon, I am having an allergic reaction to everything I touch or get around. I have to take 25mg to 50mg of Benadryl every day to keep my tongue from swelling up for the third time. I have been to the emergency room 3 times and hospitalized 1 time for allergic reaction to different types of bug bites. Last time I woke up having difficulty breathing, and could not talk right, it was due to hives, swelling of my face, lips, tongue and tightness in my throat, from allergic reaction to bug bites. My bites responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention. The last time I was hospitalized they had to give me epinephrine, 50 mg of Benadryl and put me on corticosteroids.

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