Fort Worth, TX – A woman recently called 911 to report that her nephew had been bitten by a mosquito. Though it’s hard to blame her, what with all of the recent West Nile panic floating around, MedStar stated that they don’t want anyone calling emergency services over simple mosquito bites.
MedStar EMS announced that there’s no reason to panic over a simple mosquito bite when the victim doesn’t show an unusual symptoms. The statement stems from a call from a Fort Worth woman who panicked when a mosquito bit her 1-year-old nephew.
“I got scared because that bite looks like that mosquito bite like they show on the TV,” the woman said. The 911 operator then asked if the baby was awake and responsive. “Yes, he’s playing around like normal,” the woman said. “I just want to make sure that it’s nothing, you know, dangerous.”
It’s an understandable reaction, and apparently, this woman wasn’t the only one calling 911 and summoning an ambulance only to find out that it’s just a simple mosquito bite.
“We’ve received probably half a dozen to a dozen from people who have gotten bitten by mosquitoes — no signs of symptoms — but they call 911,” said MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky.
The woman’s 1-year-old nephew was fine, an ambulance was dispatched, and the boy didn’t go to the hospital. The downside? These paramedics were out of service for 45 minutes, meaning that they were unavailable to answer other, more pressing emergencies.
“There’s been so much discussion in the community about West Nile, everybody is super sensitive,” Zavadsky said. “The slightest opportunity for someone to get West Nile, they sort of panic, and they don’t know what else to do. We’ve taught them over the years to call 911, so that’s what they do.”
Still, Zavadasky kindly asks that people not call MedStar for simple mosquito bites.
“You don’t need to call 911 if you’ve been bitten by a mosquito and you’re not exhibiting any symptoms,” he said.