Cases of EEE are rare but deadly. For people infected with EEE, 30 percent do not survive, and many who do develop neurological problems. While there was only one case reported in the United States in 2022, there were 38 cases in 2019, including 15 individuals who died from the condition, according to the CDC. Most of the cases have been reported in the Northeast.
Bug bites are irritating, and some can be harmful. Learn to identify the type of bug bite and when to seek emergency medical care.
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What Bit Me? Spot These 13 Bug Bites
With excess scratching, you may develop a secondary skin infection, which can cause swelling and pus.
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Certain Kinds of Flies Can Bite, Too
Kissing bugs hide in the daytime but emerge at night, often leaving bites on the face and causing a swollen eyelid. In the first few weeks after infection, symptoms of Chagas disease can include fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, rash, a loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. But, the CDC notes, in the long term, and even decades later, about 30 percent of people infected by kissing bugs will develop serious complications of Chagas disease: an enlarged heart, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm, cardiac arrest, or an enlarged colon, also known as megacolon.
Chiggers are small mites that leave clusters of bites. You’ll notice that chigger bites are small, red and typically quite itchy. They may look like tiny blisters or pimples or be more like hives, TODAY.com explained previously.
19 Pictures of Common Bug Bites and How to Identify Their Symptoms
What they look like:
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Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
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.
The mites tend to bite along the clothing line, where skin peeks out just above your socks or at the waistband of your leggings. Chiggers might also bite in between folds of skin where it’s warmer. You may also develop a rash around the bites.
The bite of a parasite-infected mosquito can cause malaria, a rare occurrence in the United States, with only about 2,000 cases diagnosed in the country each year, according to CDC data (and the majority of those are in people who recently traveled to parts of the world where malaria transmission is more common). Symptoms are similar to the flu and can include fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting from 10 days to 4 weeks after the bite. Malaria is serious, but it’s good to know it is preventable and treatable, according to the CDC.
11 common bug bites and photos to help you identify them
Another emerging concern is a species of mosquito found in Florida, called Aedes scapularis. Previously found mostly in the Caribbean and Latin America, research indicates the mosquito is now well established in Florida. The invasive species has been found in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, according to one report . It’s unclear if the Aedes scapularis mosquitos in Florida are spreading any types of disease, but elsewhere, they have been shown to spread some viruses, including the Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) and the one that causes yellow fever.
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Mosquito Bites Can Cause a Serious Illness
Most bug bites are transmitted directly from the insect and occur outdoors. Two exceptions are bedbugs (tiny mites that live in and near beds) and lice, which spread through contact with an infected person, a comb, or clothing.
“The challenge is that human bodies react so differently that it’s not (always) possible to look at the results of a bite and determine what caused it,” he says.
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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If you have hives, get many bites, or notice a bite that looks infected, you should visit a board-certified dermatologist for treatment, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Bedbug bites can occur anywhere on your body but typically show up on uncovered areas, such as your neck, face, arms, and hands. It’s good to know that although they’re common, bedbugs do not carry disease, according to the CDC.
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What Do Bedbug Bites Look Like?
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”).
“We look at patterns and where on the body they were bitten,” she explains, like seeing clusters of bites on the ankles from chiggers or a few bites on arms and legs from mosquitoes.