With the arrival of the rainy season, the number of illnesses from mosquitoes increases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika, which in turn increases health risks. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to redouble efforts so that risk can be eliminated.
Dr. Esteban Coto, medical manager of Roche Central America and Caribbean (CAC), explained that there are a number of myths and realities that led families to lower their guard. Below we detail.
There are people with ‘fresh blood’: “Myth. The most attractive to biting insects do not have the sweetest blood, but instead have a combination of a set of chemical factors that make them more detectable people,”he said.
Bites should be cut or removed: “Myth. Neither measure works to alleviate a mosquito bite or Purruja. In the case of bees, yes it is important to remove the stinger,” he added.
It is better not to scratch. “Reality. Scratching, by itself, has no major effects, but if the person scratches excessively exposed laceration can become infected with bacteria,” he said.
The specialist said that it is estimated that there are one million species of insects, but half are not even identified.
“Insects will always sting those that they coexist with. Feeding on human blood and other mammals is part of their life cycle. These bites and stings are so common that they do not warrant a trip to the doctor because they are treated in the environment where people live.
In tropical countries, such as Costa Rica, children, youth and adults dress up in clothes where insects can discover more skin and this exposes them more,” he said.
Coto reported that the most common effect is popularly known as welt. An allergic reaction is limited to the portion of the bite exposed to saliva proteins of the insect.
“Some species produce more complex arthropod bites. There are poisonous spiders that have neurological effects such as headache and systemic fever, for example.
As for disease transmission by bites, it is important to mention that all are nonviral: malaria, for example, comes from an intracellular parasite that lives inside red blood cells. Certain species of mosquitoes suck blood and reintroduce the infection by biting someone else. Trypanosoma cruzi is another parasite that causes Chagas disease and is transmitted by a bedbug,” he recalled.