Mosquito Safety

Unfortunately, mosquitoes are found all over North America and the world and there are approximately 170 different species. Even worse, they are responsible for the spread of many viruses including malaria, encephalitis, Yellow fever, Dengue fever, and the West Nile virus. Most of the dangerous mosquito-borne diseases are spread by mosquitoes, which emerge from their slumbers at dusk and are vigorous in their assault efforts until dawn. You should always take precautions against being bitten to minimize the chances of being bit, which will also reduce the misery of itchy bites.

Mosquito Facts
Only the female mosquito bites because she needs the blood for egg production. Male mosquitoes are much larger than females but the good news is they don’t bite. They feed only on flower nectar and not on the blood of mammals. Mosquitoes primarily feed in the early morning or at night. They locate us primarily by sensing carbon dioxide and lactic acids we excrete from our bodies. Mosquitoes can locate us from as far away as 200 feet. Cologne, soaps and lotions can also attract mosquitoes.

In order to multiply, mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. Adults and heavyset or obese humans have an increased risk of being bit by mosquitoes. This is primarily because of their larger body mass and more carbon dioxide being excreted from their skin.

Mosquito Bites
There is a large variety of reactions to mosquito bites and some of them can be quite severe. Children under one year of age rarely have severe reactions to a mosquito bite due to levels of antibodies and their response to the bite. Typically when an individual has a hypersensitive reaction to a mosquito bite, they will have very large, raised, red bumps where they were bit. These bumps are very itchy and can be as large as a silver dollar. This happens because of a response to antibodies and other factors. Intense scratching can lead to infection. In very rare situations, skin lesions may last up to months. Usually these individuals are immunosuppressed.

Mosquito Bite Treatment
Over the counter Hydrocortisone can be very effective in helping with itching. Cool compresses are also very helpful and effective, as well as monitoring the area for signs of infection.

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