Insect Bites Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Insect Bites article.

Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. C...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Amebic dysentery: Inflammation of the intestine due to infection with the ameba Entamoeba ...

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Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious allergic reaction. Symptoms include di...

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Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anap...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Bee sting: An area of skin affected by piercing from the stinger of a bee. A bee sting can...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Bubonic plague: An infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and ...

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Calamine: An astringent made from zinc carbonate or zinc oxide, customarily used in lotion...

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Cardiovascular system: The heart and blood vessels. Also known as circulatory system.

Cellulitis: A spreading bacterial infection underneath the skin surface characterized by r...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chiggers: The larvae of one type of mites, of the family Trombiculidae. The larvae, or juv...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Cortisone: A naturally occurring adrenocorticoid hormone that is produced in minute amount...

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Dengue: Also known as Dengue fever, an acute mosquito-borne viral illness of sudden onset ...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dysentery: Inflammation of the intestine, with pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, and often a ...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain, which may be caused by a bacterium, a virus, or a...

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Encephalopathy: Disease, damage, or malfunction of the brain. In general, encephalopathy i...

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Epidemic: The occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in a community...

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Epidemic typhus: See: Typhus, epidemic.

Epinephrine: A substance produced by the medulla (inside) of the adrenal gland. The name e...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Fire ant sting: A scourge, these red or yellow ants of small-to-medium size, originally fr...

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Fire ants: Originally from S. America. Among the worst insect pests ever to invade the US....

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Hives: A raised, itchy area of skin that may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It can be ...

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Hornet sting: A sting from a hornet, which can trigger an allergic reaction of varying sev...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Jaw: The movable junction of the bones below the mouth (the mandible) and the bone just ab...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Leishmania: A group of parasites causing a disease called leishmaniasis. For a fuller defi...

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Leishmaniasis: A parasitic disease that is spread by the bite of sand flies infected with ...

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Lyme disease: An inflammatory disease that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi...

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Malaria: An infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites from the Plasmodium family th...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Open wound: An injury that is exposed because of broken skin. An open wound is at high ris...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Plague: The plague is an infectious disease due to a bacteria called Yersinia pestis.

Poisoning: Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning i...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Pus: A thick, whitish-yellow fluid that results from the accumulation of white blood cells...

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Pustule: A pustule is a small collection of pus in the top layer of skin (epidermis) or be...

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Relapsing fever: An acute infection with recurrent episodes of fever caused by spirochetes...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory system: The organs that are involved in breathing, including the nose, throat,...

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Rickettsia: A member of a group of microorganisms that (like viruses) require other livin...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Ticks: Small wingless bloodsucking insects that, along with the mite, belongs to the order...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tularemia: A bacterial disease that is caused by infection with the bacterium Francisella ...

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Typhoid: See: Typhoid fever.

Typhus: One of a group of acute infections caused by rickettsiae, transmitted by arthropod...

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Vector: In medicine, a carrier of disease or of medication. For example, in malaria a mosq...

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Venom: A poison, particularly one secreted by an animal. Examples are bee venom, snake ven...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Wasp sting: A sting from a wasp, which can trigger allergic reactions that vary greatly in...

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West Nile virus: The mosquito-borne virus that causes West Nile fever. One of the flavivi...

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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Yellow fever: An acute systemic (bodywide) illness caused by a virus called a Flavivirus. ...

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Yellow jacket sting: A sting from a yellow jacket (or other large stinging insects such as...

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Medical Dictionary