When your home is more affordable, does that mean it can have more health hazards, too? Does an economy home automatically imply low-cost and poor construction or maintenance? That shouldn’t be the case, but in Anchorage, low-income renters or owners of cheaper residences may be facing more health issues stemming from their home.
Take, for instance, the residents of the Royal Suite Apartments who were featured by Alaska Dispatch News reporter Michelle Theriault Boots. Her article presents the family of Sandra Haviland and other tenants of the property who are haunted by pesky critters: bedbugs. Their landlord ardently works hard to eliminate the problem, but the infestation still persists.
Haviland and some of her neighbors say their apartments are so infested with bedbugs that they put children to bed at night with a dose of Benadryl to dull itching and allow sleep.
One of Haviland’s neighbors, Crystal Girlando, has taken to at times sleeping in her pickup to escape the bugs.
Tony Barrett, the head of the city’s environmental health program, said 75 to 80 percent of all complaints his unit receives about pests in housing — including mice and cockroaches — involve bedbugs.
The complaints tend to come from low-rent, high-turnover motels and housing, but not exclusively, Barrett said.
Bedbugs don’t necessarily carry and spread diseases, but their bite can do more damage than simply cause discomfort and terrible itching spells. Like what happened to Haviland’s child, getting bitten by bedbugs could cause an allergic reaction in some people. For others who vigorously scratch their welts or bite sites, secondary skin infections or wounds may develop. These issues need to be promptly addressed in a health care setting, such as an Anchorage urgent care medical clinic.
Similar to bedbugs, other pests can do more harm than just bug you. For instance, cockroaches and rodents could carry bacteria like E.coli or salmonella and contaminate your food and the utensils you use for eating or cooking. Their allergens (e.g. droppings, saliva, and dead bugs) can also trigger sensitivities or asthma, especially in children.
When you develop non-life-threatening symptoms or illnesses like diarrhea or mild asthma attacks, seek treatment from an established urgent care clinic in Anchorage, AK, such as Primary Care Associates. The pests may have already brought you stress and headaches, but don’t let the critters ruin your health further.
(Source: Low-income renters in Anchorage bitten by another problem: Bedbugs, Alaska Dispatch News, October 4, 2014)