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Check it out: Easing the itch of mosquito bites

  • There are a few things you can do to ease the itch of a mosquito bite. Dreamstime


Monday, June 25, 2018

Compiled by Andy Castillo. Please send items to acastillo@gazettenet.com.

Easing the itch
of mosquito bites

They are a common summer nuisance. Mosquitoes are pesky parasites leaving bite marks that can be unbearable to itch. So what’s the best way to stop yourself from scratching?

A Mayo Clinic expert has the answer.

There are millions of mosquitoes swarming this summer, sucking blood and leaving itchy, red bumps on the skin.

“Their saliva deposits in the skin from where the bite is, and it’s causing a reaction to that saliva,” says Dr. Summer Allen, a Mayo Clinic family physician.

Allen says some of the tried-and-true home remedies for treating mosquito bites work well. Calamine lotion, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and even a cold compress can ease the itch.

“It’s going to sooth and kind of calm down that intense burning and inflammation that they’re feeling in their skin,” says Allen.

And, while it’s not always easy, it’s important to keep the itching to a minimum.

“If they scratch it hard enough, or depending on what they use to scratch their skin, they can cause a break in their skin,” says Allen. “They can develop a bacterial infection.”

Although using insect repellent and other prevention tips can reduce your chances of being bit, really, getting at least one skeeter bite this summer is almost inevitable.

“Time takes care of it, and try to do your best not to scratch it if you can,” says Allen.

Mayo Clinic News Network

Free Narcan training provided for businesses

The City of Northampton’s Health Department, Hampshire HOPE and Tapestry will be offering free training for businesses Tuesday on how to administer Narcan, the life-saving overdose medicine and how to pick up sharps and dispose of them properly. It will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Smithsonian Chowder House, 1 Roundhouse Plaza in Northampton.

Business owners, managers and employees are invited to attend to learn how to respond to an overdose and safely respond to discarded needles, as well as participate in a community conversation about the impact of substance use disorder on businesses.

“We hear from local businesses that they are being impacted by the local opioid crisis,” says Merridith O’Leary, Northampton Public Health Director. “This may be because employees are struggling with opioid use disorder or perhaps members of their family, which impacts them at work or because there has been an overdose in their establishment.”

All attendees will have the option of leaving with the life-saving drug, Narcan and needle disposal containers. Registration is required by calling 413-587-1219.

Grants offered for community-based programs

Applications are being taken for Fallon Health’s annual Community Benefits Grant program, which awards money to community-based health initiatives for children, youth and seniors.

 In total, $100,000 will be awarded to organizations that meet certain criteria.

The first step in the online application process is to submit a letter of intent by Friday. A select number of organizations will be invited to submit full applications by Oct. 12. Grants will be awarded in December.

In 12 years since the grant program began, Fallon has distributed more than $1.3 million to local organizations. Last year, 10 organizations received awards. Those organizations were selected from 123 applicants.

For more information, or to find the application, visit fallonhealth.org/community.