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Why do mosquito bites,itch and swell up?

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Itchy mosquito bites can be a nightmare in the summer. But what makes these bites so itchy?

When a mosquito bites, our immune system kicks in to protect us against the attack. This is similar to an allergic reaction and causes a raised, itchy bump to appear.

This article discusses what makes mosquito bites itch and swell, and what treatments are available.

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When a mosquito bite breaks the skin, a person’s body recognizes the mosquito’s saliva as a foreign substance. This causes an immune system response, which aims to flush out the intruder.

The swelling around the bite is caused by histamine, which is produced by the immune system.

Histamine increases blood flow and white blood cell count around the affected area, which causes inflammation, or swelling.

Mosquito bites itch because histamine also sends a signal to the nerves around the bite.

The first time a person is bitten, their body may not react in this way. The immune response is something that the body learns after being exposed to a foreign substance.

Some people may never react to a bite. Others might become more tolerant to a mosquito’s saliva over time. For many, the reaction remains consistent, and mosquito bites continue to be an annoyance.

Mosquitoes bite humans to drink their blood. The nutrients contained in a human’s blood help female mosquitoes to make the eggs they need to reproduce. Only female mosquitoes bite people.

A mosquito uses the sharp tip of its straw-like mouth (proboscis) to pierce a person’s skin. It locates the blood vessel and draws blood up through its mouth.

As it does this, it injects saliva that contains an anticoagulant. This stops the person’s blood from clotting. If the blood were to clot around the mosquito’s mouth, they might get stuck.

Scratching mosquito bites may make the itching worse.

Mosquito bites itch due to inflammation. Rather than relieving the itching, scratching an already inflamed area increases inflammation. This makes the area even itchier.

Scratching may also increase the risk of infection if it breaks the skin. If the area becomes infected, it will be much itchier and will take longer to heal.

The following treatments may help to reduce the swelling and itching of a mosquito bite:

Antihistamines are an over-the-counter medication that helps to reduce inflammation and itching. They are an effective way to treat mosquito bites.

Applying heat to a mosquito bite may help reduce the inflammation and itching.

A 2011 study found that locally administered heat brought fast relief to mosquito bite symptoms.

Honey is antibacterial and may help wounds heal. A 2011 study found that natural honey can reduce inflammation and prevent infection.

For this reason, natural honey may help reduce the symptoms of a mosquito bite when applied to the affected area. It is essential to wash it off before going outside, as it can attract mosquitoes and other insects.

Corticosteroid creams can reduce inflammation and itching.

As these creams are steroid based, people should use them sparingly and should not apply them to open wounds. They may also cause the skin to thin with repeated use.

One species of aloe, Aloe littoralis, has been shown to reduce inflammation and encourage wound healing in animal studies.

Applying aloe gel to a mosquito bite may help relieve the inflammation and soothe the itching.

A 2013 study on animals found basil oil helped to relieve inflammation in arthritis.

The anti-inflammatory properties of basil oil suggest it could help to relieve mosquito bite inflammation.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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Health & Lifestyle

Sports head injuries Balanced reportage is required – Experts

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A group of more than 60 leading international neuroscientists, including Mark Herceg, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and a member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, published a correspondence today in The Lancet Neurology, asking for balance when reporting on sports-related injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a type of dementia associated with exposure to repeated concussions, and has been linked with a variety of contact sports such as boxing, football, American football and rugby.



Although CTE is commonly featured in the news media and discussed among peers, the medical community is just beginning to understand how to recognize the disease, guidelines for how to assess its severity have yet to be established.

“We don’t currently have a clear understanding of the link between CTE pathology and any specific symptoms,” noted Dr. Herceg. “It’s important to note to the public at large that CTE is at an early stage of scientific and medical understanding, with many important aspects of the disease yet to be established.”

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“Dr. Herceg and his colleague’s CTE research is timely and impactful as a major step forward to more clearly defining the risk and prevalence of this important syndrome,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

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-Northwell Health

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