Allergy Alert: Don't Let the Bugs Bite This Holiday Weekend

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So you've gotten the hamburgers and hot dogs ready, the barbecue is heating up and the grand 'ol flag flying high in the sky. But before you salute Memorial Day weekend here are some tips to help prevent taking the bite out of your holiday.

Allergist, Dr. Clifford Bassett, weighs in.

How does one identify the insect doing the biting and stinging? Learn what stinging insects such as yellow jackets, honeybees, wasps and hornets look like to be properly prepared.

Check out these quick facts about stinging insects: Stinging Insect Allergy Tips and Facts

Stinging Insect Survival Tips

* My best advice to prevent stings that means staying out of their territory and nests.In general, if you encounter a stinging insect, move away slowly.

* If you smell nice and look like a flower, then you will be a target for stinging insects.

* Around the BBQ try to keep food covered and consider wearing closed shoes

Getting treated

* First if you have had a serious or generalized reaction after being stung, stop reading and immediately make an appointment with an allergist familiar with the evaluation and

treatment of stinging insect allergy!

* Speak to your allergist to learn if you are a candidate for a life saving treatment known as "immunotherapy".This is a series of injections to "venom" that can provide up to 98% protection for those with venom allergies!

* Make sure you have a prescription epinephrine auto-injector with you if you have had a systemic allergic reaction (such as respiratory symptoms, throat tightness, hives and swelling) especially during the prime biting months in your area.

For some additional tips and information on what to do if you are stung check out these links to keep you informed:

The Sting of Summer

Tips to Remember Stinging Insect Allergy

Don't let stinging insects take a bite out of your summer!

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine.He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. No information in this blog is intended to diagnose or treat any condition.