There are just some people mosquitoes prefer to bite more than others.
Sadly, I’m one of them.
In fact, 1 out of 10 people are “mosquito magnets.” Researchers discovered 85% is due to genetics, (thanks, mom). But, there are other factors to consider in the mosquito equation.
Studies have shown mosquitoes are attracted to people who produce high amounts of carbon dioxide. It’s like their version of catnip. In fact, mosquitoes can smell a “meal” up to 3/10 of a mile away! They tend to prefer adults and pregnant women because they emit more carbon dioxide than children. They also like heat and movement. You breathe heavier when you exert yourself, thereby emitting more appealing carbon dioxide.
Although a mosquito bite can make an annoying, itchy bump, it can also cause a serious illness like West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and Zika.
If you are a mosquito magnet like me, your best defense is to protect yourself.
- DEET has proven to be safe and effective since 1957. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that low concentrations of DEET (10% or less) are safe to use on infants over 2 months old.*
- Picaridin is an effective alternative to DEET. It is odorless and safe for children over 2 months old.
- Natural alternatives such as lemon eucalyptus products like Repel work, too, (and safe for children older than 3 years), but they do not work quite as well as the recommended concentrations of DEET or Picardin.
- Clothing treated the chemical insecticide permethrin works, too — especially for people who spend a lot of time outdoors or in the woods.
You can also try mosquito traps to attract and kill female mosquitoes, which are the ones that bite. There are many products on the market that use carbon dioxide, heat and/or moisture to draw and kill the females, which will lessen breeding and can significantly lower the overall mosquito population. (I personally use a Skeeter Vac for my yard).
- Avoid marshy, swampy areas
- Wear light-colored, long sleeve clothing if you’re going to be outside at dawn or dusk
- Eliminate breeding ground opportunities around your home by removing any standing water in garbage pails, plastic toys, or clogged gutters. (FYI: Birdbaths are notorious for breeding mosquitoes).
If you or your child exhibits flu-like symptoms for an extended period of time, stop in at any New England Urgent Care to be evaluated.
Source: Insect Bites and Safety Tips American Academy of Pediatrics
Dehydration can turn dangerous quickly, especially in children and the elderly. Even though people are most susceptible during summer months, dehydration can happen at any time of the year, to anyone, and no matter the age.
What is dehydration?
Your body needs a certain amount of fluids to function normally. Dehydration happens when you use or lose more fluid than you take in. If you don’t replenish the fluids you lose, you will become dehydrated.
Severe diarrhea and vomiting are the two most common causes of dehydration in young children. Older adults, however, may have minor illnesses, conditions or take medications that increase their risk of dehydration.
Dehydration is not limited to the very young or very old. Anyone who doesn’t drink enough water — especially when exercising or being outdoors for long periods of time in hot weather — can become dehydrated.
Mild to moderate dehydration can be reversed by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration requires immediate medical treatment.
Symptoms of dehydration
You may not know if you are dehydrated! In fact, many people don’t even feel thirsty until they already are dehydrated.
Symptoms may differ depending on age. Here are some signs to look for…
Infants and young children
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- No wet diapers for three hours
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Sunken soft spot on top of skull
- Sluggishness or crankiness
- Extreme thirst
- Infrequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
When to seek treatment
- Diarrhea that lasts for 24 hours or more
- Behavior that is irritable or disoriented and you feel more sleepy or less active than usual
- Can’t keep down fluids
- If you suspect that you have heat exhaustion or heat stroke
Did you know? New England Urgent Care can treat dehydration and administer IV fluids, if needed.
Complications of dehydration
Dehydration can be a serious matter. If left untreated, it can lead to:
- Heat cramps, heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke
- Kidney problems
- Hypovolemic shock also known as low blood volume. Which causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Measles Outbreak: What You Should Know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,109 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 28 states since the beginning of 2019, an increase of 737 cases from 2018.* On January 28, 2919, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that it has confirmed a case of measles in a New Haven County adult, the first confirmed case this year in the state.**
The CDC reports:
- The majority of people who contracted measles were not vaccinated
- About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized
- 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage
- 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care
Measles symptoms usually start with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat and followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is a highly contagious, preventable disease that spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing.
Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than five years old. There is no way to tell in advance the severity of the symptoms your child will experience.
Before walking into an urgent care center, ER or a doctor’s office, contact them first to describe your symptoms so that they can tell you what to do next if you think you may have the measles. Special arrangements can be made to evaluate you, if needed, without putting other patients and medical staff at risk.
The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which provides long-lasting protection against all strains. Your primary care provider can administer the appropriate vaccine for your family. If you do not have a primary care provider, contact New England Primary Care at 860 744-2244.
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
** Connecticut Department of Public Health
New England Urgent Care is one of the first urgent cares in Connecticut to receive its licensing, and is the only state-licensed and nationally certified urgent care operating in West Hartford, Enfield, Manchester and Bristol.
The process was rigorous — New England Urgent Care facilities were subject to inspection and investigation. After meeting all the requirements, licensing was granted on May 28, 2019.
Why does licensing matter?
According to Connecticut lawmakers, the goal was to “better regulate this growing industry that provides an important health care service.” Dr. Michael Gutman, New England Urgent Care Medical Director, believes regulation benefits patients. He said, “It’s going to force facilities to either say ‘we’re not urgent care’ or increase quality of their care.”
In addition, New England Urgent Care and has been nationally certified since 2011 by the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA). This certification ensures New England Urgent Care has the training and on-site equipment — including x-rays, blood lab, EKG, respiratory and pharmacy — to treat patients for a broader range of illnesses and injuries than walk-ins that are not certified.
State Statue Chapter 368V § 19a-490-495 outlines the requirements that would ‘promote safe, humane and adequate care and treatment of individuals.’
Gutman added, “New England Urgent Care is capable of delivering diagnostic and treatment modalities to ill and injured patients far beyond that of a Primary Care clinic. It’s important for the public to be able to differentiate the level of services provided by clinics.”
Read more: Journal Inquirer: New England Urgent Care among first to receive state certification
Source: “Lawmakers Push to Regulate Urgent Care Centers” Hartford Courant, August 25, 2017
For the second year in a row, New England Urgent Care staff have chosen to help beautify historic Elizabeth Park in Hartford. On the national register of historic places, Elizabeth Park has a little more than one hundred acres of formal gardens, green space, recreational facilities, walking paths, and a café where visitors can enjoy a meal and refreshments.
“Giving back to our community is an integral part of New England Urgent Care’s philosophy. Each year our team votes on which place or cause they would like to place their energy. This year, Elizabeth Park topped the survey for the second year in a row,” commented Luciane Mastrangeli, Lead X-ray Technologist and Marketing Coordinator.
New England Urgent Care Providers, RNs, x-ray Techs, and support staff will work along side one another to plant, dig and weed on June 6th.