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ACAAI: Bedbug Bites Often Misdiagnosed as Allergies

Symptoms relieved by furniture disposal and fumigation

MONDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Skin rashes and lesions caused by bedbugs are often misdiagnosed as allergic reactions and can be relieved by disposal of furniture and fumigation, according to a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting in Philadelphia.

Sreenivasrao Amara, M.D., of The Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., and colleagues describe six cases of confirmed bedbug bites within the past year caused by Cimex lectularius, a nocturnal bloodsucking parasite.

The patients presented with multiple cutaneous manifestations that were often misdiagnosed as allergic reactions. Disposal of furniture and bedding as well as fumigation resolved the symptoms, according to the study.

"All health care practitioners should be vigilant to screen for bedbug bites, particularly in patients traveling from or contacting travelers from developing countries," Amara and colleagues conclude.

For more information, go to the Web site of the ACAAI's annual meeting (More Information).

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