Aside from leaving an uncomfortable, itchy welt, I urge you to prevent mozzie bites altogether. Ross River (RRV) and Barmah Forest (BFV) virus are the two most common mosquito-borne viruses in the South West.
Symptoms include: painful and/or swollen joints (typically wrists, knees, ankles, fingers, elbows, shoulders and jaw), sore muscles, aching tendons, skin rashes, fever, tiredness, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes.
‘But I used repellents like citronella, eucalyptus and melaleuca oil,’ said a patient of mine who became very sick with RRV last year.
The most effective repellents contain either diethyl toluamide (DEET) or picardin. Natural products work, but only for a very short time and you have to reapply four times as frequently. DEET switches off the mosquitoes’ desire to ingest blood.
‘Ross River! But I eat lots of bananas,’ said another patient.
To date there is no scientific evidence to prove foods containing vitamin B repel mozzies. The best protection is DEET based repellents along with insect-proofing your home and avoid being outside at dawn and dusk. Otherwise, cover up with long, loose-fitting light coloured clothing. Mozzies can bite through fitted clothing, even denim jeans.
From September until May, treat every mozzie as if it is a carrier of RRV or BFV.
Dr Kin Lee