Can I get diseases from bed bugs?

A reader e-mailed in this question:

"Hey - I've been biten by bed bugs, can I catch anything from them like AIDS or some other disease? Thanks"

   

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No, bed bugs cannot give you a disease like AIDS. This is one of the first things many people become worried about when they get bitten, which makes sense given how many things you hear you can get from other insects like mosquitoes. Bed bugs, however, won't transmit anything to you. They often have diseases inside them, but for whatever reason people don't catch them from a bed bug.

There are a couple of illnesses you can get from being bitten that you should be aware of:

First of all, the bites can become infected. It's not because the bed bug gives you anything, but just because it's a regular injury that has that potential (and it's a bigger risk if you're scratching it).

Second, some people have gotten anemia before in extreme cases where they are bitten a ton. This isn't going to be likely unless you have bites all over. Anemia is a blood-disease that can be caused by having too much blood drawn out of you.

Third, some people are allergic to the bites. A very small percentage of the population can go into anaphylactic shock from being bitten because of their allergies. So you have to be aware of that if you start seeing weird symptoms after being bitten, and go to the doctor if it looks like more than just a regular, annoying bug bite.

Have a question? E-mail us here for an answer.

Sources and Useful Links:

http://studenttravel.about.com/od/healthystudentholidays/a/bedbugs_2.htm

http://www.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/insects/bedbug.html

http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/index_files/Page759.htm

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