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Wasp, hornet and beestings are common injuries, but can occasionally be very dangerous particularly to those who are sensitive to the venom of these insects. Anyone who is known to be beesting or insect sting allergic, needs to have their primary physician or allergist issue them a prescription for an Epi-Pen or Epi-Pen Jr. An Epi-Pen is an automatic injector of epinephrine which can save a life of a person who is allergic to certain stings. Even a child can use one. Sometimes an allergist will dispense an epinephrine vial and tuberculin syringe for emergency epinephrine treatment for some families or individuals.
It IS possible for anyone, even those who were never allergic to a certain sting before to develop an anaphylactic reaction to one if stung at a future time.
This information comes from: http://www.medicinenet.com/insect_sting_allergies/article.htm
Systemic (or body-wide) reactions are allergic responses and occur in people who have developed antibodies against the insect venom from a prior exposure. It is estimated that between 0.3%-3% of stings trigger a systemic allergic reaction. The allergic reaction to an insect sting varies from person to person. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itching, hives, flushing of the skin, tingling or itching inside the mouth, and nausea or vomiting. The most serious allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Difficulty breathing, swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and fainting are signs of a severe allergic reaction. These types of reactions usually occur within minutes of the sting but have been known to be delayed for up to 24 hours. Prompt treatment is essential, and emergency help is often needed.
Although you must treat wasp, hornet or beestings, if there is difficulty breathing or signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction as outlined above, by either immediately epinephrine injection, and then transport to a hospital, most stings are painful annoyances and can be treated at home.
Following a beesting, wasp or hornet sting, the possibility exists that a stinger will remain in the wound. Remove it least traumatically, as soon as possible by using a credit card to snag it, and pull it out and away from the wound. People with milder reactions can apply baking soda as a paste initially, and take a diphenhydramine capsule, tradename Benadryl, (as per package direction for age and weight, and please use the liquid or chewables for a child, with the correct dose for weight as stated on the specific box you are using.)
I don't usually need to take a Benadryl, and I usually keep and apply a Diphenhydramine clear liquid, with a cotton ball, after initially using a baking soda paste, and a number of times that first day I repeat the Benadryl liquid via cottonball to help to limit swelling and redness and to promote comfort.
Although they do not normally, any wasp, hornet or beesting can become infected. If this appears to have happened, please see your doctor. Signs of an infected sting site would be painful redness, a yellow purulent head, fever or even red lines traveling toward the heart from the initial sting itself. Pay close attention to each wasp, hornet or beesting because we never know when a person who was never allergic in the past, may become allergic to the sting, for the first time.
|American dog tick (Photo: hyg.ipm.illinois.edu )|
Ticks and tick bite treatment and concerns are covered in our prior posts :
|The brown recluse spider (Photo: brown-recluse.com )|
Information with detail on spider bites as envenomation injuries are found at:
|Photo: http://www.prlog.org )|
Mosquito bites are not simply an annoyance, or even just a source of secondary infection following itching afterward. They too can be a hazard. Malaria, West Nile Virus , Dengue Fever and likely other illnesses can be contracted through mosquito bites. Experts tell us that HIV-AIDS cannot be contracted through mosquitoes.
This flash presentation discusses why HIV-AIDS transmission through mosquitoes is highly unlikely if not nearly impossible.
However, we should do all we can to avoid mosquito bites to avoid contracting any number of other diseases. The first thing we should do is avoid standing water on our properties, by emptying any containers we can. We can use integrated pest management or chemical means to decrease the possibility of mosquitoes breeding on our properties. We can also use mosquito repellants when needed. We can use mosquito netting especially when sleeping in the great outdoors.
If we know we are bitten by a mosquito, we can also use the extractor, but the problem often becomes not knowing that we were bitten until some time later when we have the obvious bite. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) gel with a cotton call applied multiple times daily in the acute phase of mosquito bites can promote comfort and help to prevent scratching. Also, the use of your favorite antiseptic is a good idea, as infection is always a potential, if not a likelihood here.
If you were to develop a high fever or a severe headache within 12 hours or more following a mosquito bite, you need to see a physician.
Try to stay safe out there !