Although painful and sore, causing swellings and intense irritation, mosquito bites are usually more of a nuisance than a danger. If you have been travelling in the tropics, however, a mosquito bite could have more serious implications. A female mosquito can spread malaria if it has previously bitten someone whose blood is infected by the parasite which causes the disease. Every year, around 1500 people in Britain develop malaria, after returning from a trip abroad, and a few cases are fatal. Because of climatic changes, some cases of malaria have been recorded in people who were bitten here, although fortunately these are very rare.
Anyone who develops a feverish headache accompanied by sweating after a mosquito bite should seek medical advice. The disease can have an incubation period of up to ten months. Serious mosquito bites are treated by a Chinese Medicine practitioner with Chinese herbs to detoxify the blood. Palm oil, easily bought at an oriental supermarket, is good to use on mild mosquito bites.
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