Mosquito Bites

  1. I constantly hear about people being allergic to bee stings but I rarely hear about people that are allergic to mosquito bites.

    Is it possible to be allergic to mosquito bites and if so, how common is that allergy? Are the reactions usually serious or mild?

    I constantly hear about yellow fever, west nile and malaria but I've never heard of people having allergic reactions after being bitten.

    How come some adults are completely desensitized to bites while other adults receive large red rashes?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,216
    Gold Member

    I've just consulted the book "Midges in Scotland". It says that the normal healthy response to a midge bite is mild inflamation of the affected area as antibodies and histamines attempt to neutralise any proteins the midges inevitably leave behind, causing the itchy red spot that often occurs after a bite. In some people however, an overreaction occurs and they can become quite ill. Most of these people are already aware of their allergies due to similar reactions to other bites or stings. Desensitization can occur after many years of persistent biting, as the immune response can become progressively slower until barely any affect is had (though this does not always happen), much like an experienced beekeeper will barely notice a sting.
    I know that midges and mosquitos are different species altogether, but I would imagine the bodie's reaction to the two would be quite similar.
     
  4. chroot

    chroot 10,426
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The normal, itchy mosquito bump is, in fact, an allergic reaction to the mosquito's saliva.

    - Warren
     
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