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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Flea Bite
September 2001

Q. We have an indoor dog and I suspect my youngest daughter has flea bites. She is also running a 102 fever with a runny nose. Could the fever and runny nose be an allergic reaction to the bites?

A. Your daughter should be seen right away by her doctor as the fever and other symptoms are rather severe, and may be unrelated to flea bites.

Flea infestation is of course common in houses with pets, and can result in typical inflamed red bumps with a lot of itching. The treatment is aimed at controlling the itching in the humans and eliminating the fleas from the pets, house, and yard. Intact skin is a good barrier but any break in the skin from a bite or puncture can result in a secondary infection which needs medical evaluation. Fleas can also be carriers of other organisms that cause disease in humans, so do not assume that all the symptoms are simply allergic.




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