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Ticks That Carry Lyme

Ways to keep Lyme disease-carrying ticks away

In the United States, some ticks carry pathogens that can cause human disease, including: Anaplasmosis is transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the blacklegged tick in the northeastern and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick along the Pacific coast. Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood.

How Big Is A Tick

An American dog tick might get as big as the width of a pencil eraser, while a deer tick is about half that length. These pests grow larger with each life stage but start quite small. Many bites come from nymphs, or juvenile ticks, which can be as little as one-sixteenth of an inch, making them difficult to detect.

The Tickcheck Tick Identification Guide

Did you just find a tick on yourself or a loved one? TickCheck can test your tick and determine whether it carries the bacteria that transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections.

Tick Species

There are hundreds of species of ticks throughout North America. Many species feed solely on wild animals or are found in very specific habitats and are rarely encountered by humans. Other species are commonplace and can be found inhabiting areas frequented by humans and their pets.

The most notorious tick species that come into contact with humans are the deer tick, American dog tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick, and Western blacklegged tick. These tick species have similar life-cycles and habitats, but each transmits a unique set of pathogens and inhabits different geographical regions.

Tick Life Stages

Ticks go through four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Larvae, nymphs, and adults all feed on the blood of vertebrate hosts and are capable of becoming infected with a pathogen while feeding. At their next blood meal, they may then transmit the acquired pathogen to the new host they are feeding on. It is important to be able to recognize the life stage of a tick in order to be protected from tick-borne disease.

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Odds Of Catching Lyme Disease From A Tick Bite

The chance of catching Lyme disease from an individual tick ranges from roughly zero to 50 percent. Risk of contracting Lyme disease from a tick bite depends on three factors: the tick species, where the tick came from, and how long it was biting you. Thats why the sooner you can remove the entire tick, the lower your chances of contracting a tick-borne disease.

Where we live makes a difference in these odds, too. We live in the upper Midwest, and unfortunately for us, a recent study found that up to 50 percent of blacklegged ticks are infected with Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control, however, state that it takes a tick 36 to 48 hours attached to the skin to transmit symptoms from tick bites and tick-borne disease.

Whether or not that timeframe is true, I cant say for sure. But I can say that Lyme disease is preventable, and taking a proactive approach to avoiding tick bites can save you a lot of aggravation. If you do spot a tick on yourself or your child, take them to the doctor or Firelands Regional Medical Center QuickCare, where they may be prescribed antibiotics. You can even opt to have the tick tested for Lyme disease.

Most of the time tick bites are harmless and symptoms from tick bites are rare. However general symptoms from tick bites include:

Dr. Mark Schmiedl

  • Pain or swelling on the bite site
  • Burning sensation on the bite site
  • Blisters
  • Red spot or rash near the bite site
  • Full body rash
  • Muscle or joint pain or achiness
  • Fever

How Can I Prevent Tick Bites

Lyme Disease  And The Ticks That Carry It  Spreads ...

The best way to beat Lyme disease is to avoid the ticks that spread it. Ticks cannot jump or fly, and must wait for a passing animal to grab hold of. They live in areas with tall grass and bushes, and where there are thick layers of plant debris. They do not survive well on well trimmed lawns where the sun will quickly dry them out.

Keep your bushes well trimmed and your lawn free of garden debris. When walking in areas with tall grass or brush, it is important to cover arms and legs with long shirt sleeves and long pants, and to tuck pant cuffs into socks to deny ticks entrance.

Insecticide sprays such as permethrin can be used on clothing before outdoor activities. One application will last in fabric for several months. Insect repellent such as DEET or picaridin can be used on skin, and only last several hours at the most. Apply according to the directions on the package, and be careful not to get it in your eyes or mouth.

After coming in from the outdoors, it is important to look over your body and/or your childs body for ticks. This is best done in the shower or bath. Pay close attention to areas where the ticks may hide in the armpits, in the groin, in the belly button, and on the scalp and behind the ears.

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Should I Be Tested For Lyme Disease After A Tick Bite

Lyme testing relies on detecting antibodies the bodys reaction to the germ not the germ itself. It takes time for the body to make antibodies, at least a couple of weeks after you have become infected. Someone with symptoms of very early Lyme disease is likely to have a negative Lyme antibody test. On the other hand, false positive Lyme tests can happen, so someone without symptoms of Lyme disease who tests positive is unlikely to really have the disease. Testing for Lyme disease shortly after a tick bite is not helpful, says Dr. Baer and may lead to a prescription for a medication that you just dont need.

I Found Out It Was A Deer Tick That Bit Me What Should I Do Now

If a deer tick bit you, one dose of an antibiotic called doxycycline can prevent Lyme disease if:

  • you live in an area where there is a lot of Lyme disease
  • the tick was probably attached to you for more than 36 hours
  • the tick was removed in the last 3 days

Doxycycline should not be given to pregnant or breastfeeding women or to anyone allergic to doxycycline. If a tick bit you, ask your doctor if you should take doxycycline to prevent Lyme disease.

Is there anything I should look for after a tick bite?

After a tick bite, be on the look-out for signs of infection. The first sign of Lyme disease is usually a gradually enlarging, round or oval red discoloration of the skin surrounding the bite. The rash is usually neither painful nor itchy. Once the infection spreads, the same rash can be seen on other areas of the body. Other symptoms of infection may include:

  • facial droop
  • fever
  • body aches.

Late manifestations of Lyme include swollen joints, and rarely neurologic problems like severe headaches. Lyme at any stage is treatable with a set course of antibiotics, typically two weeks and rarely more than a months duration.

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Do All Ticks Carry Lyme Disease

The warm weather is here! Time for fresh air fun with hiking, camping and trips to the beach. But warmer weather also brings some things that are not so welcome: ticks and the germs they spread.

If you find a tick attached to you or to your child, what do you do? Do you need to worry about Lyme disease? Not always, says Aryeh Baer, M.D., a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Joseph M. Sanzari Childrens Hospital. And even if Lyme disease is a concern, theres no need to panic, says Dr. Baer. Like so many other infections, Lyme disease is perfectly treatable.

What Common Health Issues Can Tick Bites Cause

Experts warn of rare diseases ticks can carry

There are several potential health issues that tick bites can cause, but a lot depends on the type of tick. “Pathogens are tick-specific,”Dr. Thomas Russo, professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York, tells Yahoo Life.

Lyme disease is one of the most well-known tickborne illnesses, and it’s carried by blacklegged ticks, Russo says. It can lead to symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash called erythema migrans, according to the CDC.“But the same ticks that carry Lyme disease also can cause babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and other diseases,” Russo says.

While Lyme disease gets a lot of attention from the general public, Russo says that “the most feared infection from ticks in this country is Rocky Mountain spotted fever.” This condition is “potentially lethal,” he says, and is considered one of the deadliest tickborne diseases in the Americas. Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include fever, headache, rash, stomach pain and muscle pain, and severe forms of the disease can lead to hearing loss, paralysis, mental disability and the need to have limbs amputated, according to the CDC.

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How To Avoid Tick Bites

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by a tick in the first place.

If youre going for a hike, spending time in a field, or walking through areas of tall grass, underbrush, or woods, its important to wear long pants and long sleeves that cover as much of your skin as possible. Tucking your pants into your socks or boots is also a good idea, as is wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

In addition to wearing the right clothes, considering using bug repellent. Make sure that the repellent you choose is specifically labeled for repelling ticks, as some insect repellents are ineffective when it comes to keeping ticks away.

How To Avoid Getting A Tick Bite

You might be at risk if you live, work in, or visit a wooded area, or an area with tall grasses and bushes .

You may also be at risk if you are involved in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and gardening.

You may be bitten by a tick and not even know it.

Heres what you can do to avoid getting a tick bite.

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Can Other Bugs Give Me Lyme

Researchers have found spirochetes in mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects. But it has not been proven that they can transmit the infection.

A tick is uniquely suited to carry and spread Lyme disease. Spirochetes have co-evolved with ticks over millions of years. Tick saliva contains immune suppressors that help disseminate the bacteria throughout the hosts body. And, because ticks feed on many different animals, they can spread the disease widely.

What Are The Complications And Risks Of A Tick Bite

New research finds 1 in 5 deer ticks carry Lyme disease in ...

Experiencing a life-threatening illness from a tick bite is pretty uncommon, but it doesn’t hurt to be informed on the possible complications and risks. As you know, certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting infections, the most troubling being tick-borne diseases, explains Keri Peterson, MD, an internal medicine physician based in New York City. “The risk of developing these infections depends on where you live, the type of tick, and how long the tick was attached to the skin,” Dr. Peterson says.

The flu-like symptoms you might feel post-tick bite can mean a number of different things about your medical situation. “The timing of these symptoms vary depending on the type of tick and length of time it was attached to the skin,” says Gina Charles, MD, a family physician based in Pennsylvania. For this reason, no matter what kind of symptoms you’re feeling, the safest bet is always to visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible post-bite to determine if you’ve contracted any of the following.

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Where Do We Find Blacklegged Ticks

  • Blacklegged ticks live in wooded, brushy areas that provide food and cover for white-footed mice, deer and other mammals.
  • This habitat also provides the humidity ticks need to survive.
  • Exposure to ticks may be greatest in the woods and the fringe area between the woods and border. Rarely, blacklegged ticks may be found in more open areas that are near wooded habitat so it is important to be on the lookout for ticks when in or near wooded areas.
  • Blacklegged ticks search for a host from the tips of low-lying vegetation and shrubs, not from trees.
  • Generally, ticks attach to a person or animal near ground level.
  • Blacklegged ticks crawl they do not jump or fly. They grab onto people or animals that brush against vegetation, and then they crawl upwards to find a place to bite.
  • White-tailed deer live throughout Minnesota, but blacklegged ticks are not found everywhere that deer live.
  • It’s Time To Think About Lyme Disease Prevention

    by Marie Lilly, Earth Institute at Columbia University

    “There’s no way I have Lyme disease,” stated my friend’s 70-year-old dad while helping carry my mattress into our new apartment last summer, “I wasn’t bitten by a tick”

    “that you know of,” I interjected, then continued to rapid-fire questions about the expanding circular bull’s eye rash on his arm, a telltale sign of Lyme.

    After learning that a couple of weeks prior he had gone hiking in a forested park in Michigan and had recently been experiencing fatigue and confusion, I exclaimed that he should go see a doctor and make sure to get a Lyme disease test.

    A few days later, I received a text from my friend: “I’m so glad you talked to my dad, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease and is being treated now.”

    This wasn’t entirely surprising, given that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are more than 476,000 cases of Lyme disease per year in the United States, making it the most common vector-borne disease in North America.

    When suspected and diagnosed early, Lyme disease can be easily treated with antibiotics. However, if not treated right away, the bacterial infection can cause potentially life-altering long-term issues such as neurological disorders, cognitive dysfunction, arthritis, and general malaise.

    A study conducted at Brown University in 2019 found that up to 2 million people in the U.S. may be suffering from these long-term symptoms.

    Explore further

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    Symptoms: As The Infection Spreads

    If the disease goes untreated in its early stages, over several weeks or months it can spread to other areas of the body like your:

    • Joints
    • Heart
    • Nervous system

    You could also have more rashes and periods of pain and weakness in your arms or legs. Other symptoms include:

    • Facial muscle paralysis
    • Headache
    • Inflamed brain and spinal cord

    Where These Ticks Are Found

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    Lyme disease ticks can be found in leaf litter, woodpiles, stone walls, tall grass, beach grass, bushy areas, areas planted with ground covers, and lawn edges that meet forests, woodlots, and gardens. Essentially, Lyme disease ticks can be found anywhere their hosts live, though they tend to prefer moist and shady areas. The deer tick is infected by vertebrate animals like white-footed mice, chipmunks, shrews, ground-feeding birds, and other small mammals that have Lyme disease bacteria themselves.

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    Are Tick Bites Itchy Do They Hurt

    Generally, tick bites do not hurt. You might feel a bitebut you may have no idea when it happens either. Both are possible. Early in the process of biting, ticks inject a pain mediator via their saliva, says Mather. Because its more likely that subsequent bites will elicit a reaction, the first bite can often go unnoticed, he says. However, many people do find them itchy. If you continue to itch at a certain spot on your body, Mather encourages you to take a look to see what youre scratching at, since its one common way people find ticks.

    Where Do Ticks Bite

    You can find a tick bite anywhere. However, although they can and do attach to any part of the body, there are certain body parts they more commonly move toward, like the hairline, or in tucked-away places, like the armpits, groin, and behind knees, says Dill. Thats because ticks have heat sensors that allow them to seek out warmer, moist places. Recently, doctors even discovered a tick attached to a 9-year-old boys eardrum.

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    Do All Deer Ticks Carry Lyme Disease

    Not all ticks are infected. Because tick studies have only been done in a relatively few places, in most of the US, tick infection rates are unknown. Even in places where ticks generally do not carry Lyme, there may be hotspots of infection depending on local conditions. The tick infection rate may also change from year to year, even in one .

    What Is A Tick

    Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

    Ticks generally live outdoors in tall grass and foliage. Commonly mistaken for insects, these pests are arachnids that feed on blood from animals and humans. They are a nuisance to hikers, campers, dog walkers, and anybody who works or relaxes outdoors. The most common ticks in New England are the American dog tick and the black-legged tick.

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    Ticks That Cause Lyme Disease As Plentiful Near Beaches As In The Woods

    Beachgoers may have felt safe from Lyme disease, but a new study suggests those heading to the shore also need to keep a careful eye out for disease-carrying ticks.

    Researchers in California were surprised to find just as many adult black-legged ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme, in areas of grass and scrub leading to the beach they did as in the woodland habitats in the northwestern part of the state.

    We went into new habitats and found them in numbers we didnt expect, said lead author Daniel Salkeld, a research scientist at Colorado State University. A few years ago I would have said the ticks there wouldnt have been infected because there arent any grey squirrels, which are the source for Lyme in California.

    People may not be looking for ticks when heading to the beach, but the tiny bugs could be hiding in coastal grasses or nearby scrub areas.

    “I think they’ve been under our noses all along,” Salkeld told NBC News. “We just haven’t thought to look very closely.”

    Fortunately, for Californians, at least, the ticks arent a year-round problem. Theyre only there during the rainy season, Sakeld said.

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