While most insect bites are harmless, more than two million Americans are allergic to stinging insects, which include bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and fire ants. “One symptom of an allergic reaction is anaphylaxis,” says Jesse D. Hoff, MD, family medicine physician at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Anaphylaxis can cause many problems, including difficulty breathing or swallowing and swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes, hands and feet. If you or someone you love experiences this, you should head to an emergency room immediately.”
While mosquito bites are among the most common insect bites during the summer, be careful, because mosquitos could be carrying West Nile virus, a potentially deadly infection. “West Nile disease can show itself within two to 15 days after contracting the virus,” says Hoff. “Watch out for headache, fever, tiredness and body aches. If you suspect something might be wrong, see a doctor immediately.”
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