What To Do If Tick Bites You
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
People aren’t able to become immune to Lyme disease. So even if you’ve had Lyme disease, you can get it again. No vaccine is available currently to prevent the disease.
The FDA approved a Lyme vaccine called LYMErix in 1998. The vaccine was not 100% effective, however. The FDA still recommended preventing the disease in other ways. In 2002, the company that made LYMErix said it would no longer offer the vaccine.
To help prevent Lyme disease, follow these guidelines.
How Do I Know If I Have A Tick Bite
Many people who develop the disease do not remember seeing ticks or being bitten. Tick bites commonly occur from May to September in North America, although blacklegged ticks can be active most of the year. Ticks sometimes move around on the body but they usually attach themselves to the skin and stay in one place. Before feeding, ticks look like small, brown scabs or freckles. After feeding, ticks may swell considerably, and could be as big as a raisin or a small grape.
Follow the link for more information about blacklegged ticks from the Government of Canada.
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Can I Get Lyme Disease By Eating Deer Meat
- Deer are important in the deer tick life-cycle, but deer do not get Lyme disease.
- People cannot get Lyme disease by eating deer meat. However, deer meat should always be properly cooked. Cooking deer meat properly is important to prevent other infections such as E. coli.
- Caution should be taken while hunting and dressing deer, since ticks may travel or fall off the deer and have access to you. Ticks also have access to your yard to lay eggs while dressing or hanging a deer. You can take precaution by using a permethrin treated tarp in your truck during transport of a deer and under a deer hanging in your yard.
A Tick Bite Doesnt Feel Like A Mosquito Bite
Many people think theyll be able to feel when a tick bites them, just like they feel a mosquito bite.
But ticks are sneaky little bloodsuckers, and theyve evolved with some sophisticated, almost science fiction-like mechanisms.
Their saliva contains natural anesthetic and immune suppressors to ensure that you dont feel anything at all when they jab you to feed, reports the Internal Lyme and Associated Diseases Society .
The less access the ticks have to your skin, the better. Wear light-colored clothing and tuck your long-sleeved shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.
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What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:
Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease
Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.
Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.
Why Is It So Hard To Remove Ticks From Your Skin
Ticks dont just bite: they burrow. When they feed, they cut the skin and actually insert a tube equipped with barbs to secure their bodies in place. A little glue secreted by the tick also helps to keep them attached. One of the reasons why people often dont feel tick bites is because their saliva also contains some painkiller that numbs the area. Once the apparatus is established, ticks can feed for days.
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How Can I Prevent Getting A Tick Bite
Good ways to prevent tick bites are to wear shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when outside, especially in brushy areas and areas that border forests. Tucking your pants into your socks and wearing high boots can also help. It is easier to see ticks on light-colored clothing, so that is another useful approach. Applying bug spray to your clothing can repel ticks. After being outdoors it is important to do a thorough tick check of yourself and your children. Ticks tend to like dark, moist areas on the body so pay particular attention to the armpits, groin, hairline, scalp, backs of the knees, and waistline. If you have pets, using a topical product to prevent ticks on your dogs and cats will also help to ensure that your animals are not bringing ticks into your home.
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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How Long Does It Take The Tick To Transmit Lyme
Experts disagree about how long it takes a tick to transmit Lyme disease. The CDC says that in most cases, the tick must be attached more than 24 hours.
We think that gives people a false sense of security. In some research studies, 5-7% of nymphs transmitted the Lyme bacteria in less than 24 hours. One paper reported on a case of Lyme disease transmitted after six hours of tick attachment. The risk may be low the first day, but its not zero.
Furthermore, some studies show that only 30% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite. If people dont even realize that they were bitten, how could they know how long the tick was attached?
The longer a tick stays on you, the more likely it will transmit disease. Its important to find and remove any tick as soon as possible.
My Friend Had A Tick Bite And Her Doctor Prescribed A Dose Of Antibiotics To Prevent Lyme Disease When Are Prophylactic Antibiotics Recommended
Limited data is available on the benefit of using prophylactic antibiotics in children following a tick bite. The only antibiotic used for this prophylaxis is doxycycline.
Its use is only recommended if the following five criteria are met:
Ask your provider for more information if you think you or your child may need a prophylactic dose of doxycycline following a tick bite.
It is important to get outside and play, hike, and explore. The possibility of tick bites should not prevent you and your children from enjoying the outdoors. Being diligent about tick prevention and tick checks will go a long way in avoiding tick-borne illnesses.
Remember that even if a tick bite occurs, the risk of Lyme disease remains low. Please do not hesitate to call Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center at 674-7337 or the Ottauquechee Health Center at 457-3030 if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help.
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Ticks That Carry Lyme Disease Bacteria
The Ixodes tick, also known as the blacklegged tick or deer tick, is the species that commonly carries and transmits the Lyme disease bacterium. In the eastern and midwestern states of the U.S. during the spring, summer, and fall, the main type of tick that carries the bacterium is Ixodes scapularis or deer tick. In the western U.S., Ixodes pacificusâthe western blacklegged tickâprimarily carries Lyme disease bacteria. Your chances of Lyme disease after a tick bite partially depends on the type of tick that bit you and what life cycle stage it’s in.
Preventing And Treating Tick Bites
There are a number of precautions that can be taken in order reduce the chances of a tick attaching, feeding and potentially transmitting an infection. When questing, ticks are most likely to be found in wooded and bushy areas, with high grass and leaf litter, so either avoid or be cautious in these types of environment.
Clothing can provide some protection from ticks. Wearing long-sleeved tops can protect the arms, and tucking pant legs into socks and boots can prevent ticks from having easy access to legs. Repellents are also available that can be applied to both skin and clothing. Those containing 20-30% DEET offer several hours of protection.
After being out in an environment that could be home to ticks, it is recommended that you conduct a full-body tick check, especially as it is hard to notice them without actively searching.
As stated before, prompt removal of ticks is crucial to reducing the risk of infection. Although specialized tick removal devices are available, a regular pair of fine-tipped tweezers is more than adequate.
Using the tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible. With steady, even pressure, pull upwards. Twisting and jerking the tick can cause some of its mouth-parts to remain embedded in the skin. If this occurs, carefully attempt to remove the remaining parts with the tweezers.
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How Does A Person Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick, which also is known as the black-legged tick. Immature deer ticks can be very small, about the size of the head of a pin adult deer ticks are slightly larger. Both can be infected with and transmit Lyme disease. Deer ticks acquire the bacteria by feeding primarily on small mammals infected with the bacteria, particularly the white-footed mouse. Deer ticks infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease have been found in Illinois. Areas in the United States where deer ticks are most frequently infected with Lyme disease are the northeastern United States , northern California, and north central states, especially Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, Lyme disease has been reported in almost all states in the United States as well as in many countries throughout the world.
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Can Lyme Disease Be Treated
Yes. People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Antibiotics commonly used for oral treatment include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil. People with certain neurological or cardiac forms of illness may require intravenous treatment with antibiotics such as ceftriaxone or penicillin. For additional information, please consult the CDC webpage at .
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How Can I Prevent Tick Bites
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.
What Is The Best Way To Remove A Tick
The best way to remove a tick is with fine tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull with firm, gentle pressure do not jerk or twist. It is important to avoid crushing or squeezing the tick while you are removing it. Do NOT use a match, nail polish, Vaseline, or kerosene to try and smother the tick these methods may cause the tick to actually inject its body fluids into the skin raising the possibility of disease transmission. After tick removal wash your hands and the area of the bite with soap and water.
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Regularly Check For Ticks
Deer ticks are less likely to transmit Lyme disease to you when removed within 24 hours after they have attached to you. So, regularly checking yourself and your loved ones for ticks can help. When outside, make sure to spot-check often. And when you get home, be sure to take a shower and put your clothes in a high-temperature dryer. Actionable tip: always check between your fingers and toes, your hairlines, your belly button, your underarms, and behind the ears. Thorough and frequent tick checks are one of the most effective ways to prevent Lyme disease transmission.
What Precautions Can I Take Against Tick Bites
- Avoid wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, especially in May, June, and July.
- Wear light-colored clothing so that you can see ticks that get on you.
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that cover the entire foot.
- Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants.
- Wear a hat for extra protection.
- Spray insect repellent containing DEET on clothes and uncovered skin.
- Walk in the center of trails to avoid brush and grass.
- Remove your clothing, and wash and dry them at high temperatures after being outdoors.
- Do a careful body check for ticks after outdoor activities.
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What Types Of Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
In the northeast, Mid-Atlantic and north-central states, deer ticks or black-legged ticks are the only ticks known to transmit Lyme disease. On the Pacific coast, the ticks that transmit Lyme disease are the western black-legged tick . Dog ticks and other kinds of ticks are not known to cause Lyme disease.
The most visible sign of Lyme disease is the characteristic rash called erythema migrans or ‘bull’s eye.’ This rash usually develops within one month of the tick bite. It typically occurs at the site of the bite, starting as a red area and then expanding in size over days and weeks.
What Does A Regular Tick Look Like
Although ticks are small around 1/8 of an inch in length they are still visible to the naked eye. The tick that is most commonly found latching onto humans, called a deer tick or blacklegged tick, is about the size of a sesame seed in adulthood. It has a reddish body with a solid black dorsal shield over its back. It has long, thin mouthparts. The Western blacklegged tick is very similar to the deer tick in appearance except its body shape is more oval. Although deer ticks can be found across North America, Western blacklegged ticks are only found on the west coast of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Other common ticks include the Lone Star tick, the Brown Dog tick, and the American Dog tick. The Lone Star tick is medium in size, a little bigger than Western blacklegged and deer ticks, and has a rounded body. It is reddish-brown in color and has similar long, thin mouthparts. Something that makes this type of tick distinguishable is the white dot on its dorsal shield, although this dot can only be found on female ticks.
The Brown Dog tick has a small, elongated body that is also reddish-brown. Its mouthparts are different than the others, being hexagonal in shape. This type of tick does not have a decorated dorsal shield. The American Dog tick is the largest of all the commonly found ticks. It is brown with short and pointed mouthparts. Its dorsal shield has distinct white markings that make it easily identifiable.
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What Can A Workplace Or Home Do To Reduce The Presence Of Ticks
Keep the lawn and yard well maintained to prevent ticks from living near the home or workplace.
- Keep the grass mowed. Trim trees and shrubs.
- Remove leaf litter, brush, and weeds at the edge of the lawn, and around stonewalls and woodpiles.
- Clean up and seal stonewalls and small openings around the home to help discourage rodents.
- Keep stacked firewood piles and bird feeders away from buildings.
- Keep any pets, particularly dogs, out of the woods and talk to your veterinarian about tick repellents for your pets.
- Move children’s swing sets and sandboxes away from the woodland’s edge and use a woodchip or mulch foundation.
- Consider using hard landscape items such as woodchips, mulch, stones, gravel, tile, or metals.
- Create a border or barrier between the lawn, woods, or stonewalls to discourage deer and rodent activity.
- Widen woodland trails.
How Do I Avoid Getting Bitten By A Tick
The best way to protect you against Lyme disease and other tickborne illnesses is to avoid tick bites. This includes avoiding tick-infested areas. However, if you live in or visit wooded areas or areas with tall grass and weeds, follow these precautions against Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and tularemia:
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