It is considered that bedbugs do not transmit diseases. However, they cause a wide range of problems including skin itchiness, emotional distress and sleep deprivation. A recent study also shows that these parasites can cause anemia and that specific groups are at higher risk. One particular case reported by NIH involved a 60-year-old man who was dealing with diabetes, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse.
The man had a bedbug infestation in his house, and his doctor reported seeing the parasites even during the day. Lab tests carried out on the man revealed that he had low iron count despite having no visible or gastrointestinal bleeding. Treatment with vitamins and provision of units of blood cells did not change his situation much. That resulted in the doctor ruling out all other possible causes of anemia and putting the main blame on bedbugs. The authorities sent professional exterminators to deal with the problem. Months after the exercise, although there were still some bedbugs left in the house, the man’s anemia was successfully managed.
Groups More Prone to Anemia as a Result of Bedbug Infestation
Bedbugs feed on the host’s blood and if the infestation is severe, the body reaches a point where it cannot replenish the blood supply anymore. Disabled people and seniors are at rather high risk even with a moderate infestation by these parasites. That’s because older people gradually lose the ability to maintain proper iron levels deriving the microelement from food, and that’s why a bedbug infestation is more likely to result in anemia. Apparently, the case gets even worse if an elderly person has a disability.
According to recent research, living in nursing homes also increases the risk of getting anemia from an infestation. Other affected groups are drug abusers and alcoholics because they do not pay enough attention to cleaning their homes and general hygiene. Although these parasites do not come with dirtiness, it creates perfect hiding places making it harder to spot and eradicate them.
If there is a bedbug infestation in your home, then you can consider anemia if you or any member of the family exhibit the following symptoms:
– Pale skin.
– Fatigue and weakness.
– Breathe shortness.
– Irregular heartbeat.
– Cold extremities.
If you note these signs, ensure that the doctor examines every member of your family. A lab test to determine iron count is required, after which supplements and proper diet will be prescribed if necessary. Additionally, ensure you hire a professional exterminator to get rid of bedbugs from your home.