Heatwave causes spike in insect bite calls to NHS

Horseflies can give nasty bites

Horseflies can give nasty bites

Calls to the NHS helpline 111 about insect bites are nearly double the rate they normally are at this time of year.

Calls to the NHS helpline about insect bites have increased by almost double the normal number at this time of the year and doctors have reported incidents of patients who were treated in the hospital for infected horsefly bites.

The public is urged to remove standing water to reduce the risk of getting insect bites and stings.

"A couple of these were infected bites from horseflies". They actually give one of the nastier bites, because they take a chunk out of you. I personally got bitten recently by a horsefly and it is very painful.

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He added that in some of the worst cases he has seen, insect bites can cause cellulitis, which is an infection of the skin.

According to Public Health England data on calls to NHS 111, about 9,000 people called the helpline on 8 July, around double the baseline figure which is constructed from historical data.

Amid a record-breaking heatwave impacting the United Kingdom, a new threat has emerged to the public: vampire horseflies. Although most of June and July was warm, temperatures peaked between 24 June and 9 July when 28 degrees was recorded somewhere in the United Kingdom every day.

"Horseflies and mosquitoes are interesting because they rely on aquatic larvae in wet and marshy areas, which won't have necessarily dried up yet, even after the last four weeks of hot and dry weather conditions".

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'Horsefly bites can take a while to heal and can become infected.

The NHS advise that you see your GP immediately if an insect bite results in symptoms of an infection such as pus, increased pain, redness and swelling.

"Horsefly bites are particularly painful because their main food source is livestock, which have a limited ability to move the fly away".

"This means they can take their food without having to worry about delivering a painful bite, as the animals are generally powerless to stop them".

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According to BPCA, the top five most common bites and stings are false black widow spider, mosquitos, horse flies, wasps and hornets.

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