Bites and Stings News

Bites and stings are relatively harmless and not detrimental to your long-term health. But there are some specific risks that should make you vigilant in trying to prevent them.

Some ticks, for example, can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever; others can transmit Lyme disease. Spider bites and bee, wasp and hornet strings are painful, but usually not life-threatening. But some people can have a potentially fatal allergic reaction to stings, and some spiders, such as the brown recluse and female black widow, are poisonous enough to be very dangerous. In addition, there is the growing danger of West Nile virus, which is transported by some mosquitoes and can cause serious problems in people with compromised immunity.

When it comes to animal bites, snakes are usually the first culprit that comes to mind. And though not all snakes are poisonous, a snake bite should often be viewed as a medical emergency. Bites from other animals can put you at the risk of developing rabies, among other illnesses, so it always pays to have any bite checked out by a medical professional.

Prevention and Treatment of Bites and Stings

Considering some of the risks, it’s best to take preventive steps to avoid dangerous bites and stings. With things like snakes, animals, and bees, wasps and hornets, avoidance is the best form of prevention. Take great care to not confront animals in the wilderness and wear appropriate clothing when in dense woods to protect your body.

Avoiding other types of insects is often more difficult, but you can protect yourself by using insect repellant properly. You can also use mosquito netting when camping outdoors and even get clothing and camping gear that is treated with permethrin to keep bugs at bay.

Checking your body and hair for ticks at regular intervals while outdoors is a good way to minimize their risk. And, of course, keep an eye out for any unusual bites or stings, as well as any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms that begin after you get one. The symptoms vary, but if you experience any medical symptoms after receiving a bite or sting, it’s worth a visit to a doctor to ensure that you haven’t developed an illness.

SOURCES: U.S. Food and Drug Administration; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Date Posted
Article Title
11/7/2017
10/6/2017
FDA Approves Test to Screen Donated Blood for Zika

Though the virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes, it can be transmitted through blood transfusions

10/5/2017
Zika Vaccine Works in Early Human Trial

But study was small, more research is needed

10/4/2017
Antibody Injections in Pregnancy Might Shield Fetus From Zika

But experimental treatment only tested in monkeys so far, researchers say

9/28/2017
Genetic Tweaks in Mosquitoes Might Curb Malaria Transmission

New methods could be used along with older control techniques, such as bed netting

9/24/2017
Don't Let the Tick Stick

Dermatology expert offers advice on tick removal and avoiding them in the first place

9/21/2017
Sound the Mosquito Alarm, Across the USA

Study finds two disease-carrying species could thrive in three-quarters of the country

9/18/2017
9/2/2017
How to Prevent, and Treat, Lyme Disease in People and Pets

U.S. health officials warn that cases of the illness are on the rise

8/14/2017
Health Tip: Apply Bug Spray Properly

And help prevent Zika and West Nile

8/11/2017
Health Tip: Avoiding Animal Bites

It's usually someone's pet

7/17/2017
Not All Fidos Are Friendly

Teach kids ways to prevent dog bites, pediatricians' group says

7/11/2017
Malaria Drug Protected Mouse Fetus From Zika: Study

More research is needed on effects in primates and humans, researcher says

7/7/2017
Shortage of Bee, Wasp Venom Stings Those With Allergies

Facing expected season-long shortage, doctors urge patients to carry EpiPens just in case

7/4/2017
How to Keep Your Kids Out of the ER This Summer

Emergency physician says make safety your top priority to avoid seasonal threats

6/29/2017
Arm Yourself Against Insect Sting Allergies

Steps to take the bite out of dangerous bugs

6/26/2017
How to Dodge Summertime Threats

Stings, bites, outdoor cooking and even fireworks keep poison control centers hopping

6/19/2017
Strike Back Against Snake Bites

Expert advice on what to do if you're bitten and how to prevent a bite in the first place

6/14/2017
Could You Spot Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room?

Survey finds they're a major worry for U.S. travelers, but many can't identify the annoying pests

6/14/2017
Bed bugs and Travel

Could you identify a bed bug in a lineup of insects?

6/12/2017
A Monkey's 'Smile' May Not Be Sweet

People who thought the animals were grinning or blowing kisses often got bitten, researchers say

6/12/2017
Health Tip: Keep Mosquitos Out of Your Yard

Take care of repairs and water problems

6/10/2017
Experimental Zika Vaccine Protects Mice Against Virus: Study

Just one dose provided 100 percent protection, researcher says

5/31/2017
Getting Bedbugs Out of Nursing Homes, Apartment Buildings - for Good

Taking steps to keep pests away is key in multi-unit housing, insect specialist says

5/24/2017
Zika Arrived in Florida at Least Four Different Ways

Virus strains came from the Caribbean and Latin America, researchers say

5/23/2017
5/11/2017
Coming This Summer: More Ticks and a Deadly New Tick-Borne Disease

People need to be extra cautious when outdoors, with more of the critters after a mild winter

4/28/2017
U.S. Moves to Avert Shortage of Yellow Fever Vaccine

Brazil outbreak of mosquito-borne illness has officials worried, and transmission to U.S. is possible

4/15/2017
Don't Let Bugs Dampen Your Outdoor Fun

Dermatologist offers tips to avoid pests and treat their bites

4/14/2017
Another Type of Mosquito May Carry Zika

Genetic fragments, but not live virus, were found; researchers call for more testing of mosquito types

4/13/2017
Don't Let Ticks Get Under Your Skin

Bug expert offers tips on protecting yourself from these tiny bloodsuckers

4/10/2017
Bedbugs Building Resistance to More Insecticides

Chemicals alone won't vanquish the pests, researchers say

3/31/2017
Researchers Take Aim at Insecticide-Resistant Bedbugs

New fungal-based pesticide might knock out insects that survive current chemicals

3/9/2017
U.S. Medical Experts Issue Warning on Yellow Fever's Advance

Brazil outbreak has officials worried, and transmission to United States is possible

2/8/2017
Drought May Beckon Bigger West Nile Outbreaks

Dry environment might alter how easily mosquito-borne virus is transmitted, researchers say

2/3/2017
Health Tip: Leave Bed Bugs Behind

Steps to avoid bringing them home

1/17/2017
Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Confirmed in Eastern National Parks

U.S. National Park Service and CDC advise using insect repellents on clothes and skin

1/12/2017
Scientists Create Mosquitoes Resistant to Dengue Virus

Hope is to eventually make the bugs fend off multiple infections, including Zika

12/6/2016
New Clues to Huge Jump in U.S. Mosquito Population

Urbanization, DDT pesticide ban played roles, but climate change may become a factor, researchers say

11/14/2016
Mosquitoes Can Deliver Zika/Chikungunya Double Whammy

And like Zika, dengue and chikungunya can also cause neurological problems, study found

11/11/2016
Tropical Bedbugs Creeping Back to Florida

These cousins to the common variety haven't been seen since the 1930s or '40s

10/20/2016
Snakebites a Rising Danger for U.S. Children

Florida, Texas account for one-quarter of nation's attacks, study finds

10/19/2016
New Clues on How Zika Causes Brain Birth Defects

Virus appears to hijack certain cells involved in normal head and brain development, scientists say

9/27/2016
Common Culex Mosquitoes Don't Transmit Zika Virus: Study

These widespread insects do spread West Nile virus and Japanese encephalitis though, researchers say

8/29/2016
3 Drugs Identified to Potentially Fight Zika Virus

But only one is already approved in the United States

8/4/2016
3 Zika Vaccines Effective in Monkeys

Human trial set to begin this fall, researcher says

8/3/2016
Heating Luggage Sends Bedbugs Packing

Just 6 minutes at about 160 degrees F kills the creepy critters, study says

8/1/2016
Health Tip: Protect Kids During Summer

Here's what parents can do

7/28/2016
Timing Conception Might Help Reduce Zika Risk in Affected Areas

Researcher suggests attempting pregnancy when mosquito activity is low to avoid birth defects

7/23/2016
How to Keep Bug Bites at Bay

CDC offers advice on thwarting disease-carrying insects