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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Los Angeles woman itching to get home

Hotel guest says bites from bedbugs sent her to Chicago-area hospital

—written by Dawn Rhodes

While we've all heard of the hazards bedbugs pose, one suburban hotel guest says she now understands all too well.
Carrie Brown, 42, said a nearly two-week stay at the TownePlace Suites Chicago Lombard left her body covered with more than 50 bedbug bites, including a cluster on her right leg that became infected and required hospitalization.
Brown, of Los Angeles, said she and a friend checked into the hotel Aug. 21 to attend a cake decorating class. Each day, Brown said, she discovered more and more bites, which gradually started to itch, burn and swell.
Eventually, Brown said, her right leg became so swollen that she could not walk on it, and she was admitted to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove on Wednesday. Doctors told Brown she'd had an allergic reaction to the bites and she was suffering from cellulitis, a bacterial infection that can penetrate the bone if not treated.
The tiny, nocturnal, reddish-brown insects usually pose no serious health threat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though individual reactions to the bites vary.
A hotel representative said Friday he would provide a company statement regarding the incident, but the Tribune did not receive that statement.
Brown was released from the hospital Friday afternoon and was returning home to the West Coast "with a purse full of antibiotics."
"I'm going to be in my own bed tonight," she said.
September marks the first National Bed Bug Awareness Month.

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