How would you react to a simple mosquito bite? Chances are with the scare of the West Nile Virus, you might be a bit worried. You may keep an eye on that bite, but some people are heading right to the emergency room. KCEN HD News Reporter Amanda Kenney shows us what you need to know before you head to the ER.
"What color swing are you in?" asks Jenny Cresswell to her daughter. Jenny has two daughters, who like to play outside. "I've definitely been concerned about my girls getting bitten by mosquitoes," she said.
And if they ever do get bit, she says she'll play the waiting game."Just make sure, pay attention to their behavior and any symptoms that may occur," Jenny said..
But not everyone has the same idea. The ER at Seton Medical in Harker Heights is seeing a lot of what they call "The Worried Well."
"They have some minor symptoms or they've been bit and they come in and they're just worried they have the West Nile Virus," said Sanna Root, RN MSN, the Emergency Services Director at Seton Medical.
In Dallas, they've been overloaded with 911 calls. "And I got scared because that bite looks like that mosquito bite like they show on the TV," said one caller.
People who are worried about mosquito bites and the West Nile Virus should call their primary care physician. The ER will still see you, but Sanna says it's not needed.
"They have shown up, and we see them, we screen them, we make sure they're okay and then most of them have been going home," she said.
It takes time away from real emergencies, which is why Jenny will be keeping an eye on her girls, for now. "If you start to see flu-like symptoms, fever, body aches and things like that and if you're child has been bitten by a mosquito like ten to twelve days prior, at that point I would probably take them," she said.
Getting tested for West Nile Virus isn't as easy as getting tested for the flu. For the West Nile, you need a blood sample that could take 1 to 8 days to get results.
And remember, the best prevention is personal protection from mosquitos.
Use repellant with DEET, stay inside during dawn or dusk, and if you do decide to go outside at those times wear long pants and long sleeves.