What's Going Around: Bed bugs


What's Going Around this week is a red bumpy rash.

When you see it on your child or yourself, measles or chicken pox may come to mind but in this case, it is the allergic reaction to bed bugs.

Doctor Mike Patrick at Nationwide Children's Hospital says his emergency department team saw several patients with bed bugs this week.

Bed bugs are tiny insects that are half the size of an apple seed. They are tan in color but get darker as they feed on blood.

Despite their name, the bugs can live in any area of the home: mattresses, bed frames, floorboards, and furniture.

They scurry and hide which makes them difficult to find. When they bite, there is a distinctive mark.

"They'll be in a straight line on the body and equally spaced,” said Dr. Mike. “The bed bug will bite then crawl and then bite and crawl and when you see sort of lines of itchy red bumps that are equally-spaced," Dr. Mike said.

Doctors recommend an antihistamine to treat the itchy red bites. You should always consult with a doctor or nurse to figure out the right dosage for your child.

Dr. Mike said a one percent hydrocortisone cream can also help control the itch and inflammation.