Ask the Experts
Garden City Hospital is here to help. Now you can browse, search and view answers to frequently asked health questions. Have a personal health question you need answered? We can do that too! Simply submit your question and we will get it to the appropriate GCH health expert for an answer.
Ask the Experts is for general information purposes only. It should never be thought of as medical advice or treatment, nor should it be used in place of a thorough medical screening or an exam by a licensed medical professional. Medical advice should be sought from an emergency room, urgent care center, or licensed medical professional. If you need help finding a physician, use our online physician directory to locate a Garden City Hospital Health Expert that’s right for you.
Check the Sunday issue or your local O&E for more answers from the GCH Health Experts.
Note: Questions are selected both randomly and based on relevance or frequency. Not all submitted questions will be answered. Answers will be posted on GCH.org and not supplied directly to the submitter. To maintain personal privacy, we do not require any personal information be given to submit questions.
My husband and I take our family into the country every chance we get. Mosquito bites and bee stings are a common occurrence. My husband says not to worry, but I do. Should I be concerned and what can I do to protect my family?
First of all, a family trip is meant to be relaxing. Try not to worry about your encounters with nature’s pests, but be prepared to deal with them when you do. Here is a list of the more common critters you will encounter in Michigan and what to do when they attack.
Fleas - Some people are very sensitive to flea bites and scratching can cause a wound or infection. Get rid of fleas on pets and in your home. Keep pets out of your bed and be sure to vacuum rugs daily. Spray insecticides on infested areas.
Ticks - Once a tick latches onto the skin, it often moves to the armpits and groin - feeding on blood and passing on any disease it carries. A tick bite can also trigger an allergic reaction. If you have a tick, it is important to remove it properly.
To prevent tick bites, keep your arms, legs, and head covered when outdoors. Use tick repellant with DEET on skin or clothing. Check for ticks after spending time in grassy or wooded areas. Ticks can carry Lyme disease bacteria, but infected ticks usually don’t spread the disease until they’ve been attached for at least 36 hours. Early symptoms are a circular skin rash, fever, headache and fatigue. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics. See your doctor if you’re concerned.
Mosquitoes - Scratching an annoying mosquito bite can cause a skin infection. Also, mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus, dengue fever virus, and other diseases. To protect yourself, apply insect repellent and cover up when you go outdoors. At home, use window screens and get rid of standing water in your yard and around your house.
Bees & Hornets - If you don’t have an allergic reaction to a bee or hornet sting, simply remove the stinger, clean the sting site, apply ice, take oral antihistamine for itching, and take something for pain relief. If you have a severe anaphylactic reaction, use an EpiPen (epinephrine) if you have one. Call for emergency care.