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  Last updated: 12/06/2009

Swallow a Bug?

On occasion you will swallow a bug while on a ride. Should you worry?

The biggest risk comes in swallowing a bee and getting stung in the mouth. his can be quite painful (and frightening if it is in the back of the throat). If you are allergic, then the risks are even higher. If you have not been stung before, the signs of trouble iclude wheezing, starting to pass out, or breaking out in a blotchy rash. There are no on the trail remedies (unless you carry an epipen) so flag down a motorist or have a buddy get help for you. Don't panic as it will just make the breathing more difficult.

What about infections (we've all had our mothers tell us about the diseases flies carry)? Although flies and gnats have been reported to carry some dangerous bacteria (especially for diarrheal diseases), the chance of contracting an illness from swallowing a bug are extremely low.

And if you inhale the bug into your lungs (you will know as the coughing reflex kicks in immediately), it will come up sooner or later - either with the coughing or later in the mucous produced as a response to the irritation of your airway.

So if a bug hits the back of your throat, go ahead and swallow it. Even if it is a bee, trying to get it out just increases the chances getting stung in the mouth or the back of the throat.

Questions on content or suggestions to improve this page are appreciated.

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