Bites and Sting – Causes and Symptoms of Bites and Sting

Bites and stings can occur from a number of insects including spiders, fleas, hornets, bees, mosquitoes and wasps. Some causes pain and few insects cause itching. These insects inject venom or any other substances that causes irritation to the skin due to which itching and pain occurs resulting in an allergic reaction. A severe reaction can cause anaphylaxis where the patient goes into shock and a person may suffer from shortness of breath and tightening of the throat. This a medical emergency where a person should be taken to hospital immediately.

Bites and Sting causes
Insects are the main cause for bite and stings. A bite or sting injects the venom or other harmful substance that triggers an allergic reaction. The various insects that cause an allergic reaction include:

  • Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and fire ants belong to the Hymenoptera family.
  • Bites or stings from these species can cause severe reactions.
  • A bee loses its apparatus of injection (stinger) and dies during the process.
  • A wasp can inject multiple stings.
  • Fire ants inject with their mandibles.
  • Lice can transmit epidemic relapsing fever.
  • Protoazoan trypanosomas that cause sleeping sickness in humans and cattle is transmitted by the bite of tsetse flies.
  • Various mosquitoes cause dengue and yellow fever.
  • Ticks transmit Lyme disease through the bites or stings.
  • Serious spider bites can be from the brown recluse or brown widow.
  • The common housefly causes diseases like typhoid and amoebic dysentery.
  • Sand fly carries protozoan leishmania which causes leishmania.

The symptoms of a bite or sting includes:

Mild to Moderate Symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Tenderness
  • Presence of stingers at the site
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Red lump at the sting site
  • Irritation at the site
  • Fever
  • Painful joints
  • Swollen glands

Serious symptoms or Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a very serious condition severe allergic reactions develop. The signs and symptoms include:

  • Hives
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Faintness
  • Confusion
  • Facial swelling
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Rapid heart rate
  • May go into shock

When to consult your doctor?

When you suffer from these severe anaphylactic reaction, call the emergency medical services and treatment should not be delayed in case of a severe reaction. It can be fatal if treatment is not taken immediately.

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