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Am I infected? Contrary evidence, HELP/urgent

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  1. itchyme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Feb 27 2009 15:25:44
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    On the nights of February 1st-3rd, I visited a friend of mine, by myself. The morning after I woke up I had what look very much like bed bug bites: itchy, 1cm-sized reddish bumps. They were primarily - at least noticeably - on my forearms and hands. When I scratched them, a dandruff-like covering/scab came off the surface of the bump. These are not flea, scabies, mosquito, boils, or any other bump I can identify originating from an insect. There are no apparent bite marks, as there are with spider bites.

    The friend is a close, long-term friend; he and I are very foreward with each other on pretty much everything, so I asked him if he knew what the bites were. They were unfamiliar to him.

    Fast forward to today. I've got more of these 'bites' along my body - stomach, chest, back, shins, ankles, and back of my head. Since the 2nd, my skin has been very dry, and I've seen a resurgence in dermatological (acne) issues I've not had for about 5 years. The bites I initially got (and recognize as the originals) are slowly healing, but still itch. Yet, I am uncertain whether they are bed bug bites for a number of reasons:

    1) I'm uncertain whether I've actually gotten more bites, as they may have simply taken a while to become itchy and irritable.
    2) There are four other people in our household, none of which have
    3) Of the four people in the household, 2 are under-6 children with eczema and very sensitive skin. One, my son who is 6, is highly allergic to nuts, aspartame, poison ivy, and a number of other environmental items.
    4) One of the others in the household had bed bugs twice while touring Europe several years ago, and he has not demonstrated any symptoms of bed bugs - though he has in the past.
    5) This is an old house, previously a summer cabin, and is fairly poorly constructed. The rooms are small, and my bed is in the middle room - no more than 5 feet from the beds in the other two bedrooms.
    6) I sleep in the same bed as my irritant-prone son. My daughter sleeps in the bed in a windowless room several feet away, often napping for multiple hours each afternoon. Again, nobody but myself has shown any symptoms.
    7) Again, I am the only one of 5 showing any signs of being bit. I am larger than my wife by quite a bit, and obviously larger than my children. I also smoke (whereas my FIL and spouse do not). Is there any indication that bed bugs might prefer specific hosts for one reason or another - diet, health, etc.? Might I output more CO2, making myself the preferred candidate?
    I am currently under a great deal of stress, outside the context of my possible infection - unemployed, living with my humorless father-in-law, and looking for work - and I'm wondering if (despite the bites actually looking like all the pictures of bed bug bites I've seen - clusters, strings, preferred locations, etc.) this might not be a stress-induced symptom.
    Finally (and least of all), I can't find any evidence of bed bugs. Granted, the bed room I'm in is poorly constructed and there are a lot of gaps near the bed where they could hide, but I've been able to find any feces, eggs, etc. Also, last night I stayed up and looked for the bugs periodically throughout the night in my bed; there were none.

    So, what of it? Is there any other possibility other than bed bugs I'm overlooking? Here's what I figure: any eggs laid on my stuff while visiting my friend have since hatched several weeks ago, and are in the larvae/young stage - they are feeding but will be unable to breed for a couple weeks to lay eggs themselves. Any adults that came along are feeding periodically, but only on me - and there are not likely any females, or I'd have seen an very marked increase in the number of bites in the past week or so as the new eggs hatch. If there were eggs in my clothes/gear that came along, then they will start laying eggs themselves fairly soon here (in the likely case that there are females).

    Am I on the right line of thought here, or is there something missing? Can someone help explain some of my confusion and misgivings with regard to the lack of uniform symptoms amongst those in my house?

  2. bitten123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Feb 27 2009 16:23:24
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    itchyme, you do sound like you are under a tremendous amount of stress, and I'm sorry you are having to worry about the possibility of bed bugs. If you can, read more of the postings on the board, and you will see that bites alone can not totally mean you do or don't have them. Spidey posted several links about different skin conditions, etc that can mimic cause bite like reactions, or sores on skin. I am hopeful you do not have bed bugs, and besides maybe having a PCO come and inspect your place I don't have much advice. I would remain as diligent as possible in checking for signs, using a bright flashlight and checking between 3 and 6 am in the morning for their prescence. I hope the pros can give you some advice, but given all you have is bites, well, you might have them or you could simply have irritated skin. I'm sorry I'm not helpful, but I do feel bad for you going through the agony of worry. Hugs.


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