In truth, almost everyone has a mosquito bite reaction that could be considered a mosquito bite allergy. But a very small percentage of people are highly allergic to mosquito bites.
A Bite, A Bump, An Itch…
That’s a mosquito allergy. When the skeeter makes an unauthorized withdrawal from your blood bank, it injects a bit of its saliva into you.
The saliva has an anesthetic effect, making it less likely that you’ll notice the mosquito going about its business. The saliva also has an anticoagulation agent that helps insure that your blood won’t clot and clog the mosquito’s built-in drinking straw – its proboscis.
And it’s your allergic reaction to the saliva that causes you to have an itchy, lumpy souvenir of the mosquito’s visit. But unless the mosquito has infected you with any of the many nasty illnesses that mosquitoes carry, the itch is the most you’ll suffer from having shared dinner with a mosquito.
For Some, a Mosquito Bite Allergy is VERY Serious
For a very small percentage of the population, a mosquito bite reaction can become life-threatening. That’s because they are so allergic to mosquito bites that their body reacts by going into anaphylactic shock. And that’s a very dangerous situation.
Anaphylactic shock occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to the mosquito saliva. (This can also occur with other insect bites and stings.)
Symptoms can include difficulty in breathing due to constriction of the throat, loss of consciousness, and even death. And the onset of symptoms can occur very rapidly, within seconds in extreme cases.
Very Few People are Afflicted with a Severe Mosquito Bite Allergy
Anaphylactic shock due to a mosquito bite, or any other type of insect bite or sting, is very rare.
So the next time you’re scratching away at those itchy, annoying mosquito bites, perhaps you’ll take some small comfort in the knowledge that it could have been much worse.
And remember – Mom told you not to scratch!