Has someone died of several mosquito bites?

After the stitch

Insects If the face swells even though a mosquito has stung the foot, this can indicate an allergy. This rarely happens, if it does: Desensitization promises healing. Diana Bula

She is hiding somewhere in the room. As soon as the light is out, it hums gleefully through the darkness, daring to get so close to your face every now and then that you wave your hands through the air to drive it away. At some point, sleep will come anyway. And the next morning your legs are covered with mosquito bites.

For many people, a little ointment is enough to make the stitches go away quickly. Where «stitch» is actually the wrong word. The mosquito has no sting, it has a trunk, and it bites with it. However, the "mosquito bite" did not catch on; Even Mark Anliker, Senior Physician and Head of Dermatology / Allergology Department at the St. Gallen Cantonal Hospital, speaks of stitches.

Shock from a sting

Despite the atypical summer weather, he has the first mosquito bites behind him. An annoying itch, that was all there was with Anliker. But there are people who are allergic to a mosquito bite. To classify the cases, medicine divides them into grades 0 to 4. "I know of a case in which a teenager suddenly fell out of her chair at school," says Anliker. The girl had suffered a shock caused by a mosquito bite - a typical case of grade 4. Anliker speaks of “isolated cases”. Every year, the doctors at the St. Gallen Cantonal Hospital would be able to prove that one person has an allergy to mosquito bites. «The allergy is very rare. This also has to do with the fact that it does not occur to many that the reason for an allergy is found in a mosquito bite. After all, the animals are tiny and often sting unnoticed. "

Wheals everywhere

Back to the example: A shock - grade 4. With a third degree allergy it comes to asthma, with a second degree the face swells up (even if the mosquito has stung the foot), and the person concerned becomes sick. In Grade 1 wheals all over the body; these are bumps that itch and burn. If there is excessive swelling of over 20 centimeters, this is grade 0. If a hardening forms that itches so itchy that you have to scratch, and which remains for a week, the person concerned is not allergic, but simply oversensitive.

An allergy can be detected with a skin test. The skin is lightly scratched in one place and heavily diluted mosquito poison is added. If a wheal forms, the person tested is allergic. "The skin test only works if you are allergic to the bites of Culex pipiens, the most common mosquito in our region," says Anliker. The blood test, on the other hand, detects antibodies in the body fluid - and an allergy to the bites of another mosquito species, the Aedes communis. "Serious reactions to mosquito bites are so rare because different species cause different reactions and antibodies in individuals." Clarification makes sense with children who have many summers ahead of them and with severe reactions.

Allergic instead of protective

As the mosquito bites, it secretes saliva, which contains proteins. Defense cells recognize the harmless proteins, but classify them as dangerous and mobilize further defense cells. «Allergic instead of protective defenses. This is how the excessive reaction occurs, ”says Anliker. Is someone who cannot tolerate mosquito bites also allergic to bee stings? Anliker says no: “The two allergies have nothing to do with each other. Occasionally, however, it is possible that someone may have an allergic reaction to mosquito and wasp stings. "

Mosquitoes are picky

If several people sit outside on a summer evening, the mosquitoes pounce on some, but they are not at all interested in others. "Whoever smells best for the mosquito will be bitten." A perfume or sweat can be decisive; also from the amount of CO2that we exhale is supposed to depend on whether someone is a popular victim. The insects would like children because their skin is thin and easily penetrable, says Anliker. He knows another regularity: “The first bites of the season are often the biggest. The body then automatically produces antibodies. A natural desensitization occurs. "

This does not occur in allergy sufferers, and doctors rarely help. “We give mosquito poison in homeopathic doses. So that the body hardly notices the proteins and suddenly sees them as normal. " If you do not want to be treated, mosquito repellant is a good idea. The insects can't stand its smell, nor those of garlic. A promising home remedy, it is said. The tuber not only smells mosquitoes, but also too intensely for many people.