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Health Tip: How to Get Rid of an Embedded Tick

Posted 3 hours 31 minutes ago by

-- Many ticks carry disease, so it's important to remove a tick if it bites you and becomes embedded in your skin. The U.S. National Institutes of Health suggests how to safely remove a tick: Use fine-tipped tweezers. Grab the tick close to the skin and gently pull up to remove the entire tick. Don't use a home remedy, such as petroleum jelly or nail polish. After removing the tick, clean the ...

Even a Mosquito's Spit May Help Make You Sick

Posted 3 days ago by

MONDAY, May 21, 2018 – When a pesky mosquito bites you, even its saliva triggers an immune response, new animal research suggests. The study, conducted in mice, suggests the illnesses that come from mosquito bites – diseases such as malaria, dengue fever or Zika, for example – might be exacerbated by mosquito saliva. The new research delivered the dengue fever virus to mice either via a needle ...

U.S. Illnesses Tied to Ticks, Mosquitoes Are Soaring

Posted 1 May 2018 by

TUESDAY, May 1, 2018 – Diseases transmitted by biting insects – ticks and mosquitoes in particular – have more than tripled in the United States over the past decade, a new federal government report shows. These pests caused more than 96,000 cases of illness in 2016, up from roughly 27,388 in 2004 and part of a continuing increase in insect-borne diseases, CDC researchers said. "Zika, West ...

Take the Ouch Out of Bee Stings

Posted 29 Apr 2018 by

SUNDAY, April 29, 2018 – With summer comes the stings of bees and wasps, but one expert has advice on how to keep the pain to a minimum. "The first thing to do is to get the stinger out quickly," said Dr. Carrie Kovarik. She's an associate professor of dermatology, dermatopathology and infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. "The longer the stinger stays in the skin, the more ...

Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Posted 24 Apr 2018 by

-- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is abacterial disease spread through the bite of an infected tick. More than 3,000 cases are reported each year in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. While most tick bites occur during summer, ticks may bite during other seasons in warm climates. The CDC mentions these common symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Fever. ...

Health Tip: Help Prevent Animal Bites

Posted 9 Mar 2018 by

-- Wild animals typically avoid human contact, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are sick or are protecting their young. Attacks by pets are more common, but are rarely life-threatening, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says. The agency suggests how to help prevent animal bites: Never pet, handle or feed unknown animals. Leave snakes alone. Wear boots and long pants in areas near ...

Mosquitoes Spreading Zika Virus in Parts of U.S.: CDC

Posted 8 Mar 2018 by

THURSDAY, March 8, 2018 – Zika infections are on the rise in parts of the United States where mosquitoes spread the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reported 5,168 cases of Zika-related illness in 2016. Of those cases in 50 states and Washington, D.C., more than 90 percent were in people who had visited Zika-risk areas outside of the continental ...

First Screening Tests Approved for Tickborne Parasite

Posted 7 Mar 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, March 7, 2018 – The first set of blood screening tests for the tickborne parasite Babesia microti have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Also dubbed B. microti, the parasite infects 1,000 to 2,000 people per year in the United States, the agency said in a news release. In addition to being carried by blacklegged or deer ticks, the disease also can be transmitted ...

Think Extermination Ends Your Bedbug Woes? Think Again

Posted 12 Feb 2018 by

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 – Long after you rid your home of unwelcome bedbugs, chemicals they leave behind in their droppings may continue to haunt you, a new study shows. In people, the immune system releases histamines to protect the body. These chemicals help other immune system chemicals to repair damaged cells or fight off germs. But histamines that bedbugs shed can cause rashes and trigger ...

Malaria-Causing Parasite Mutating to Resist Multiple Drugs

Posted 3 Feb 2018 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 2, 2018 – An outbreak of multidrug-resistant malaria in southeast Asia likely stems from two mutations of the malaria-causing parasite that combined a decade ago, according to new research. The parasite and mutations, carried by mosquitoes, spread rapidly in the region for five years before the malaria outbreak became apparent, the researchers said. Now, to reduce the risk of the ...

'Bug Bomb' Foggers Still Making People Sick

Posted 1 Feb 2018 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 1, 2018 – Improperly used "bug bombs" are making Americans sick – and improved labeling isn't helping, government health officials say. Pesticide foggers are often used indoors to combat insects, such as fleas, cockroaches and bed bugs. But directions must be followed carefully because breathing the spray mist can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. More than 3,200 ...

West Nile Virus May Pose Zika-Like Threat to Fetus

Posted 31 Jan 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 – Zika may not be the only virus that can harm a fetus, a new study in mice suggests. "We found that West Nile virus and Powassan viruses shared with Zika the ability to infect the placenta and cause fetal death," said senior researcher Dr. Jonathan Miner, who's with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Both of those viruses are spread by the bites of ...

Lone Star Ticks Won't Give You Lyme, But Can Still Make You Sick

Posted 31 Jan 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 – Contrary to what many people believe, the lone star tick does not spread Lyme disease, researchers report. But it can transmit other diseases. The researchers came to that conclusion after reviewing more than 60 studies published over three decades. "The media coverage of Lyme disease might make many Americans think that a tick bite means only one thing: Lyme disease," ...

A New Way to Thwart Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes

Posted 29 Jan 2018 by

MONDAY, Jan. 29, 2018 – It sounds like science fiction, but researchers say they have taken the first step toward creating female mosquitoes that don't bite and spread disease. They identified 902 genes related to blood feeding and 478 genes linked to non-blood feeding from the mosquito species Wyeomyia smithii. Found in swamps and bogs along the east coast of North America, they are commonly ...

Swatting Teaches Mosquitoes a Lesson They Won't Forget

Posted 25 Jan 2018 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 2018 – Those pesky mosquitoes may be smarter than you thought: Turns out that swatting them away may actually teach them to leave you alone. Researchers found mosquitoes can be taught to associate the odor of a person or animal to a mechanical shock similar to being swatted. Once the pests learn the link, they'll avoid that scent – and their target. "Once mosquitoes learned ...

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