Mosquitoes are known to be the most important carriers of dengue, malaria and Zika viruses, all of which are life-threatening diseases. While these diseases are commonly known, there is one mosquito allergy you may not have heard of: Skeeter syndrome.
Serious symptoms and allergic reactions
Mosquito bites can cause severe allergic reactions, whose primary symptoms include:
- Itching over a larger area on the skin.
- Bruising around a mosquito bite.
- Hives-like blisters appear near the sting.
- Lymphangitis, the bacterial infection spreads to the lymph ducts. More dangerous because the infection can enter the bloodstream. (This is called sepsis.)
But if you notice any of the following symptoms, see a doctor immediately as they may indicate a serious risk:
- severe headache;
- muscle weakness
The difference between skeeter syndrome and a skin infection
The signs of skin infection after an insect bite and skeeter syndrome are almost the same and they are itching, redness, swelling of the skin, and pain, which are common symptoms that may confuse you whether it is an infection or an allergy, but while mosquito infection occurs a few days after the bite, skeeter syndrome occurs immediately.
They are both different but they are related in one way or another because victims of skeeter syndrome are at risk of developing a skin infection when people scratch their skin from itching, it worsens the condition of the skin and this affects the healing process. This sensitivity may lead to skin injury as well.
What is mosquito allergy? What are the symptoms?
Mosquitoes are annoying insects, whose bites are usually found in the summer, that cause allergic reactions. Mosquito allergy can occur in the form of small or major local reactions, or even systemic reactions
There are more than thirty proteins in mosquito saliva, many of which cause allergic reactions. With a mosquito bite, the body’s immune system reacts allergicly to these proteins and swelling occurs where the mosquito bites
What kind of reactions occur in mosquito bites?
As a result of mosquito bites, swelling occurs 2-10 mm in size with red color in a short time. In the next 24-36 hours the number of itchy bumps of similar size increases and decreases within a few days. Local reactions, usually larger than 3 cm in some people, may occur soon after a mosquito bite. After a while, the reactions that occur may collect water. In some people, this may be in heat with a significant localized reaction. These children are healthy children without any other disease. Major topical reactions usually resolve within 3-10 days. Rarely, systemic allergic reactions such as acute common urticaria, serum sickness and anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis) may occur in some children.
Which children have a high risk of systemic allergy?
Because young children are not immune, there is a higher risk of developing a systemic reaction. In addition, the risk is higher in children with congenital or acquired immune disorders and mastocytosis
How is the diagnosis made?
To diagnose mosquito allergy, a detailed history and examination is required. In patients with significant local or systemic allergies, mosquito allergy can be diagnosed by allergy tests from the blood or from the skin. However, allergy tests from blood and skin do not show a high sensitivity. Therefore, the negativity does not mean that there is no mosquito allergy. There is no need to perform allergy tests in people who naturally react to mosquito bites
Children who develop systemic reactions also need to be investigated for immune failures
What are you expecting?
- Itching for 3 or 4 days.
- Redness or redness lasting 3 or 4 days.
- Swelling may last 7 days.
- Bites of the upper face can cause severe swelling around the eye, which does not harm vision. The swelling is often worse in the morning after lying down all night. It will get better after standing for a few hours.
Call your doctor if
- The bite looks infected (redness becomes larger after 48 hours)
- The bite becomes painful
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child gets worse
What should be done in treatment?
The first thing to do in treatment is to keep away from mosquitoes. In cases where mosquito exposure is expected, protective clothing should be worn to prevent them from biting, and the body should be sprayed with mosquito repellents.
These medicines can be used in children over 2 months old. At night, it is useful to have bed nets for the baby to protect him while he sleeps. The application of protective drugs to the bed net increases the effect of the protection.
Additionally, antihistamines may be given as a preventive agent for a period of time in children known to react against mosquito bites.
As a result of a mosquito bite, in cases where there is a reaction, antihistamines should be given orally and cortisone creams should be applied to the area of swelling and redness for 5-10 days. In systemic reactions, oral corticosteroids should be given for 5-7 days. Antipyretic drugs should be given in large local reactions with heat. Antibiotics should not be used if there is no infection
There have been studies on the treatment of mosquito allergy vaccines, but its benefit has not been proven
Does mosquito allergy improve over time?
In young children who are allergic to mosquitoes and react increasingly violently, after the age of 5 years, the sensitivity disappears in the main reactions
As a result:
- Mosquito bite allergy is very common in summer
- Some of these children have significant local or systemic reactions
- In some underlying disease states, the risk of systemic reactions is even higher
- Diagnosis is made by history and examination and is supported by allergy tests that are carried out from the skin and from the blood
In treatment, mosquitoes should be avoided and preventive measures should be taken
In cases where reactions develop, medications containing antihistamines and corticosteroids should be used according to their severity
Mosquitoes use three types of visual, olfactory, and thermal information to guide humans. The mosquito works like a magnet, and it has minute receptors in its antennas and head that enable it to detect human odors up to 50 meters away, and it smells carbon dioxide and considers it an address for the presence of humans from a distance of 10 to 50 meters, and it senses the temperature of the target at a distance less than a meter. The higher the carbon dioxide emissions, the easier it is for humans to convert, which is why adults and obese adults are more susceptible to mosquitoes than children.
Pregnant women are more attractive to mosquitoes than others. Mosquitoes are attracted to people with type O blood twice as much as blood type A, while type B are attracted to them less than blood type O, and more than blood type A. It is often noticed that mosquitoes prefer some humans over others as they have like magnets