Preventing and Treating Mosquito Bites

With all the rain we’ve been getting this hurricane season, it is common to see more and more mosquitoes and their dreaded bites.

These pests seem to be everywhere at this time of year.

“They thrive in wet, moist, humid climates, especially in stagnant water areas,” Bryan Novosad, M.D., the physician at Nova Medical Centers’ Greenspoint location, said.

Getting rid of standing water that pools in areas after rain like flower pots, gutters and along curbs can help prevent mosquitoes from nesting near you. These areas are common breeding grounds for these pests.

“When a person gets bitten by a mosquito, they get an immediate local body reaction of itching, swelling and redness around the bitten area,” Novosad said.

As if the bite’s itching wasn’t enough grief already, mosquito bites can lead to infection if scratched to the point of creating an open sore, and if the mosquito is carrying certain diseases or viruses it can pass them on to its victims.

“In the Houston area, the mosquito [may] carry the West Nile virus (WNV),” Novosad said.

The West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can be found in temperate and tropical regions of the world.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, “most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.”

Luckily, mosquitoes and their pesky bites can be avoided with some precautionary measures.

Some ways to prevent mosquitoes and their bites are:

    • Remove all stagnant water around the house and yard
    • Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when going outside at dusk and dawn
    • Avoid working in the yard at dusk and dawn
    • Use mosquito spray that contains DEET

Should you get bitten, “immediately putting an over-the-counter cortisone cream on the bitten area will relieve the itching and swelling for several hours,” Novosad said.

Help yourself avoid those nuisance insects, since hurricane season is enough of a worry on its own.

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