May 14, 2019
Every year, millions of people across the world die from mosquito-borne illnesses. While it’s not as common for people in the United States to die because of mosquito bites, they can get ill. Mosquitoes carry diseases, like the Zika and West Nile viruses. And, even when their bites don’t cause illness, they are itchy and uncomfortable. For seniors with thin skin, scratching at mosquito bites can lead to a skin infection when skin breaks open and germs from fingernails are introduced.
What Does a Mosquito Bite Look Like?
Most of the time a mosquito bite is easy to identify. It looks like a small red bump and it’s itchy. However, mosquito bites can sometimes look a little different. They may look like:
It’s common for people to have more than one mosquito bite at a time. Mosquitoes can bite a person more than once. And, where there’s one mosquito, there are sure to be more. It’s also possible for older adults who have weakened immune systems to experience hives, a low fever, or swollen glands. In rare cases, mosquito bites can cause anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction requiring immediate medical attention.
How Can Mosquito Bites Be Prevented?
There are steps you can take to help your aging relative get fewer mosquito bites. Some ways to keep the mosquitoes away are:
Use Repellent: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an insect repellant that has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Being registered with the EPA means the repellent is safe when it is used according to the instructions on the label.
Get Rid of Standing Water: Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water because they lay their eggs in it. Empty buckets or other things in the yard that collect water when it rains.
Wear Protective Clothing: Wear long sleeves and pants outside when there are a lot of mosquitoes present. Spray insect repellent on clothing, too.
Keep Mosquitoes Outside: Make sure the older adult’s windows have screens on them. Repair screens that are ripped. Or, use air conditioning so that windows can stay closed.
Home care can help your aging relative to avoid mosquito bites.
A home care provider can help apply insect repellent before going outside. Home care providers can also assist with picking out clothing that will keep the mosquitoes off and still be comfortable for the weather.