Insect Bites (cont.)
An T Nguyen, MD
Marian Gambrell, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Anthony Anker, MD, FAAEM
IN THIS ARTICLE
Insect Bites Symptoms
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The response to a sting or bite from insects is variable and depends on a variety of factors. Most bites and stings result in pain, swelling, redness, and itching to the affected area. The skin may be broken and become infected if the bite area is scratched. If not treated properly, these local infections may become severe and cause a condition known as cellulitis.
You may experience a severe reaction beyond the immediate area of the sting if you are allergic to the bite or sting. This is known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms of a severe reaction include hives, wheezing, shortness of breath, unconsciousness, and even death within 30 minutes.
A sting on the tongue may cause throat swelling and death because of airway obstruction.
Stings from large hornets or multiple (hundreds or thousands) bee stings have been rarely reported to cause muscle breakdown and kidney failure.
Bites from a fire ant typically produce a pustule, or a pimple-like sore, that is extremely itchy and painful.
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