Certain bug bites can also spread illnesses, such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, Dengue fever, and yellow fever (all transmitted by mosquitoes); Lyme disease (from ticks); Rocky Mountain spotted fever (from dogs or wood ticks); and Chagas disease (from a blood-sucking insect known as a “kissing bug”).
Some tick bites can be dangerous because the insects may carry disease. Black-legged ticks, formerly known as deer ticks, may carry Lyme disease, and dog ticks can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Up to 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year in the United States.
People with skeeter syndrome do not necessarily attract mosquitoes more than others, added Dr. Parikh. Instead, they have severe reactions when mosquitos bite them.
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- What Is Skeeter Syndrome
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19 Pictures of Common Bug Bites and How to Identify Their Symptoms
The brown recluse spider is poisonous and usually lives in dark and unused spaces. Some people feel a small sting followed immediately by a sharp pain, while others don’t realize they’ve gotten a brown recluse bite until hours later. Four to eight hours afterward, the bite may become more painful and look like a bruise or blister with a blue-purple area around it. Later, the bite becomes crusty and turns dark. It’s also worth noting that this type of spider is found in several Midwestern states, western parts of some Southern states (including Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia), and the central Southern states (including Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri) — and they’re rarely found outside of these areas, according to the University of Kentucky.
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Some Ticks Carry Lyme Disease
One of the best ways to prevent skeeter syndrome is to prevent mosquito bites in the first place. Even if you do not develop skeeter syndrome, mosquito bites can be pesky annoyances.
Some evidence describes how severe those reactions can be. For example, faces puff up, eyes swell shut, and entire limbs become red and swollen. In some of the most extreme cases, mosquito bites can cause bruising and blistering. Some people can develop a fever, vomiting, or difficulty breathing, according to one study published in 2015.
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A bite from a poisonous spider, like the black widow or brown recluse, is extremely dangerous and can cause a severe reaction. The black widow’s bite, which shows up as two puncture marks, may or may not be painful at first. But 30 to 40 minutes later, you may have pain and swelling in the area. Within eight hours, you may experience muscle pain and rigidity, stomach and back pain, nausea and vomiting, and breathing difficulties. You might not have seen the spider that bit you, but always seek medical attention immediately if there’s a possibility you could have been bitten by a poisonous spider. Call 911 or America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222.
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Flea Bites Can Lead to Skin Infections
For most people, allergy shots may not be necessary. Skeeter syndrome is rare and not life-threatening.
Skeeter syndrome is different than a normal reaction to a mosquito bite. Typically, skeeter syndrome includes symptoms such as:
What Bit Me? Spot These 13 Bug Bites
Kissing bugs, also known as assassin bugs, can pass on the parasites that cause Chagas disease. According to one study, more than half of these insects carry the parasite. In the United States, Chagas disease affects about 300,000 people, according to the CDC.
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Kissing Bug Bites Can Pass On Disease-Causing Parasites
Skeeter syndrome is an extreme reaction to a mosquito bite. You may develop a blister, severe swelling, redness, or heat at the bite site. Skeeter syndrome is rare and not life-threatening. Most people can treat skeeter syndrome at home with topical creams and antihistamines.
Symptoms of flea bites may begin within hours after you’re bitten, and the bites tend to appear in groups of three or four. You may notice itching, hives, and swelling around an injury or sore, or a rash of small, red bumps that may or may not bleed. Flea bites are most common on your ankles and legs, but may also appear in your armpits, around your waist, and in the bends of your knees and elbows. A flea-bite rash turns white when you press on it and tends to get larger or spread over time. Scratching the rash can lead to a skin infection, according to MedlinePlus, and may need medical attention.
What Is Skeeter Syndrome
A mosquito bite appears as an itchy, round red or pink skin bump. It’s usually a harmless bug bite but can sometimes cause a serious illness, such as the Zika virus (particularly harmful in pregnant women), West Nile virus, malaria, or eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). For most people, Zika causes a brief, flulike illness. But newborns of pregnant women infected with Zika have an alarming rate of microcephaly birth defects. Check out the Zika Travel Information page on the website for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find out more about travel warnings and advisories.
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When to See the Doctor for Spider Bites
In extremely rare cases, fleas are infected with the bacteria that causes plague. The disease can spread from wild rodents to pets and people. Over the past 10 years, as few as 1 and as many as 17 cases of plague were reported in the United States, according to the CDC, most in the rural West. Symptoms of plague include swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, and chills that appear from one to six days after the bite.
Female mosquitos produce eggs by biting the skin and feeding on blood. They also transfer some of their salivae into the skin in the process. The saliva often causes itchy bumps, which are mosquito bites. People with skeeter syndrome have more severe reactions to saliva than others.