The dangers of bug bites and stings

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If you’ve spent any time outdoors lately, you’ve no doubt had at least one bug bite or possibly a bee sting.

Different levels of chemicals in the body, or even genetics, can impact how you respond to a bug bite or sting.

Most of us feel some pain, swelling or redness when bitten or stung. For some, the swelling is more noticeable.

Those with an allergic reaction can experience a condition known as “anaphylaxis,” with shortness of breath, throat tightening, hives and abdominal cramps.

Anaphylaxis can be deadly, but the infections you can get from a bite or sting can also be dangerous.

“It’s not because the insect is carrying a disease, but because the skin had some bacteria on it and by scratching it you took off the top layer and you just introduced that bacteria into the place where you got bit,” said Dr. John Santoro from Baystate Medical Center.

You might not know you’re allergic to a sting or bite until you get one, but allergists can do tests giving you diluted samples of various insects and bees to test your reaction.

Dr. Santoro told 22News if a raised bump appears after someone runs their fingernail lightly in a straight line on the skin on your back, you might be more sensitive to stings and bug bites.

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