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It’s that time of year again here in the Columbia Basin. The days are warming up, and the flowers are in bloom. It also means that the winter reprieve from mosquitoes, bees, and other biting/stinging insects is upon us again. While most insect bites or stings – including bee stings- are generally more inconvenient than a medical emergency, below are some helpful tips for seeking medical attention.

  1. Difficulty breathing: If you have difficulty breathing after being bitten, seek medical attention immediately, as this could indicate a severe allergic reaction.
  2. Swelling and redness: If the bite area becomes significantly swollen, red, and warm to the touch, considerably if it worsens over time.
  3. Pain and discomfort: If the bug bite causes intense pain or discomfort that doesn’t improve with over-the-counter treatments like antihistamines or pain relievers.
  4. Signs of infection: Watch for signs of infection such as pus, increasing pain, warmth, or redness spreading from the bite area. If you notice these signs, seeing a healthcare professional is essential.
  5. Systemic symptoms: Symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, or muscle aches could indicate a more severe reaction or infection and should prompt medical evaluation.

Minor bug bites can be treated at home with over-the-counter remedies like antihistamines, hydrocortisone cream, or calamine lotion to reduce itching and inflammation. However, if you’re uncertain or concerned about the severity of the bite, it’s always best to seek medical advice.

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