Mercy Hospital
305.854.4400
Mercy Hospital is a 488-bed acute care U.S. hospital located in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. It is Miami-Dade County’s only Catholic hospital and is a recipient of the MAGNET award.

Insect Bite Prevention Tips to Keep in Mind for Summer

Mosquito bites and other insect bites are a common nuisance during the summer. Sometimes, mosquitoes can transmit serious illnesses like dengue and Lyme disease. Recently, concerns have been raised about the possibility of Zika virus transmission. This virus is a particular concern for women of reproductive age because of the possibility of microcephaly-a serious condition that can affect newborns. So far, all of the Zika cases reported in Florida have not involved transmissions from the local mosquito population; however, it’s still best to take precautions. Pregnant women who think they may have been exposed to Zika while traveling abroad can find the guidance they need at Mercy Hospital, which features a dedicated maternity team.

Reduce Your Exposure

There are a few ways that you can reduce your risk of insect bites, such as by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Consider tucking your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks. Check the window screens in your home for gaps where bugs can enter and repair or replace these items as needed. Instead of leaving doors and windows open, consider using air conditioning units.

Apply Insect Repellent

While outdoors, you may wish to wear insect repellent. First, apply sunscreen and allow it to dry. Then, spray on an EPA-registered insect repellent over your clothing and exposed skin. Look for products that contain at least 20% DEET. Products with DEET are known to be most effective; however, other helpful ingredients can include picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and para-menthane-diol (PMD). Read the label on the product you choose and apply as directed.

Use Caution Before Traveling

Due to the potential risks associated with Zika virus, some families may wish to reconsider their travel plans this summer. It’s important to note that the virus itself rarely causes major symptoms, but there is a risk of birth defects. Consider talking to a doctor about the risks of Zika exposure in the areas where you plan on traveling.

If you suffer an adverse reaction to an insect bite or believe you may have contracted an infectious disease, you can turn to the team at Mercy Hospital for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. Call a registered nurse at (305) 854-4400 or visit us online to learn more about our hospital services. These include wound care, pediatrics, emergency care, and maternity care in Miami.