What is the prognosis of insect bites?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: Boyd (Bo) D Burns, DO, FACEP, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Prognosis generally is good except in patients with severe untreated anaphylaxis or in those with chronic or invasive infections.

Mortality associated with insect bites is from hypersensitivity reactions, either anaphylactic (immunoglobulin E [IgE] mediated) or anaphylactoid (non-IgE mediated), or from complications resulting from infection. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates an annual rate of 90-100 deaths from insect venom anaphylaxis. [12] In patients with anaphylaxis secondary to insect venom, risk factors for increased severity of reaction include older age, preexisting cardiovascular disease or mast cell disorder, concomitant treatment with beta-adrenergic blockage or ACE inhibitors, previous severe reactions, and the type of insect (honeybees presenting the highest risk). [13]


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