As temperatures rise, take action, prevent mosquito bites

17 Mar 2016 | Cpl. Jared Lingafelt Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

As the temperatures rise and outside activity in eastern North Carolina increases mosquito numbers and your chances for contracting viruses hosted by the insect will too.

Mosquito bites are annoying and itchy, but they can be much more. Mosquitos carry numerous diseases including West Nile Virus, Dengue and Zika.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent mosquito bites is to wear mosquito repellent, especially women who are pregnant and young children. With weather permitting, the CDC advises longer sleeve clothing and layering up to prevent as much skin exposure as possible, shielding your body from mosquitoes.

If you are bitten, the CDC advises against scratching or picking at the bite and instead applying a hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching.

After being bitten, abnormal signs or symptoms could mean further medical care is necessary. Red eyes, fever, headache or migraine, rash and joint pain can all be serious signs of contamination according to the CDC and the Washington D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Health officials encourage women who are pregnant or who may be pregnant whom have traveled outside the United States recently to inform their medical care provider.