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Bites and Stings: Flu-Like Symptoms

Topic Overview

Some insect and spider bites or stings can cause flu-like symptoms to develop within hours of a bite or sting. Or symptoms may be delayed up to 3 weeks. Flu-like symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Muscle or joint aches.
  • Headache.
  • Swollen glands.
  • A vague feeling of illness (malaise).

Flu-like symptoms may not be caused by a bite or sting, but they may mean a more serious problem. Examples of a more serious problems include:

  • A toxic reaction, which occurs when insect or spider venom acts like a poison in the body.
  • Serum sickness. Venom from insect stings or spider bites and medicines such as penicillin are common causes of serum sickness.
  • Lyme disease, a bacterial disease that can be passed by the bite of a deer tick. Symptoms begin within 3 weeks of a bite and often include an expanding red rash in addition to flu-like symptoms.
  • Encephalitis caused by infected mosquitoes. The West Nile virus is one type of infection that may be spread by mosquitoes. Most infections are mild. Symptoms usually appear within 3 to 15 days of the bite.
  • Malaria, which is caused by a parasite that infects human liver cells and red blood cells. Malaria is an infectious disease carried by certain mosquitoes. Symptoms in the early stages of malaria can be similar to those of many other illnesses caused by bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections. You may have malaria if you have symptoms of malaria and you have been in an area where malaria is present (such as Central or South America, Africa, or Asia), especially in the past 2 months.

Credits

Current as of: June 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency Medicine

COVID-19 Update

Women’s Care is closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

If you are experiencing a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, any other COVID Coronavirus or flu symptoms, or had COVID exposure, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (913) 384-4990. We are accepting appointments, however we are currently not allowing guests with the exception of ONLY allowing ONE guest for patients’ new OB visit and ultrasound, 20 week anatomy ultrasound, and 3D ultrasound. Infants and children are not allowed into our office at this time. 

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

We appreciate your patience during this time, look forward to continuing to serve our community!

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