When To See A Doctor
Anyone who develops a rash or fever in the weeks following a tick bite should contact their doctor.
It can help to make notes about the bite, such as when it occurred and any symptoms that appeared after the bite. Taking pictures of the bite or the tick itself may also assist a doctor with diagnosis.
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 Tick Bite Look Like Exactly
The signs of a tick bite actually vary from person to person, since everyones immune system reacts differently to them, explains Thomas Mather, Ph.D., director of the University of Rhode Islands Center for Vector-Borne Disease and Tick Encounter Resource Center. While someone may have a small, red bump after the tick detaches, others may develop an area of redness and itchiness.
Your best bet is to find the tick while its still on your skin. Ticks are designed to linger when they attach and bite, says Mather. The mouth of a tick contains a bunch of backward-pointing barbs that they use to stay put, meaning they are designed to lock and load, as Mather puts it. The biters also secrete a cement-like substance around their mouths to keep them stuck even if they were to be, say, absentmindedly scratched at.
Depending on where the tick is in its lifecyclelarva , nymph , or adult stage it can stick around anywhere from three to six days, Mather says. The longer theyre feeding, the bigger they getand the greater the risk of transmitting disease.
CREDIT: KitAy /
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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:
- 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
- Inflamed brain and spinal cord
Can Any Tick Bite Give Me Lyme Disease
No, not all ticks can transmit Lyme disease. In this area, only Ixodes scapularis ticks, also called deer ticks, can spread Lyme disease, and only if the tick is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Even after a bite from an infected tick, it must be attached long enough usually more than 36 hours to spread the infection to a person.
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Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia too.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection that is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks typically get the bacterium by biting infected animals, like deer and mice. The chance of contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body. But most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease, and not all ticks are infected.
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What Are Ticks What Do Ticks Look Like
Ticks are small arachnids. Ticks require blood meals to complete their complex life cycles. Ticks are scientifically classified as Arachnida . The fossil record suggests ticks have been around at least 90 million years. There are over 800 species of ticks throughout the world, but only two families of ticks, Ixodidae and Argasidae , are known to transmit diseases or illness to humans. Hard ticks have a scutum, or hard plate, on their back while soft ticks do not. Tickborne diseases occur worldwide.
Ticks are transmitters of diseases for humans and animals. Ticks can transmit disease to many hosts some cause economic harm such as Texas fever in cattle that can kill up to 90% of yearling cows. Ticks act as vectors when microbes in their saliva and mouth secretions get into the host’s skin and blood. Ticks were understood to be vectors of disease in the mid-1800s, and as investigative methods improved , more information showed the wide variety of diseases that could be transmitted by ticks.
There are many common names for various ticks , and these names appear in the scientific literature, too. Most common names represent a genus of ticks. However, the common name “red” may be used by people to describe almost any tick that has had a blood meal .
What Are The Risk Factors For Tick Bites
People who go through grassy areas and woods are at higher risk for tick bites, especially during the months from April through September. People who travel through such areas out of necessity or for recreation are at higher risk than those that protect themselves with appropriate clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and DEET-containing repellents . In addition, people who have pets treated with flea and tick repellents decrease their risk of tick bites. People who live in areas surrounded by tall grassy areas or woods have a higher risk for tick bites, but the prevention section below describes ways to reduce risks.
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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.
What Does A Lyme Tick Bite Look Like
What does a lyme tick bite look likeRingworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus. Its called ringworm because it can cause a ring-shaped rash that is usually red and itchy with raised edges. A rash without a known cause that can be a round or oval, pink, and scaly with a raised border. It can sometimes itch.
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How To Remove A Tick And Treat A Tick Bite
First, dont panic. If you find one attached to your skin, remove the tick as quickly as possible using a set of fine-tipped tweezers. Grab the tick as closely to the surface of your skin as possible, and pull upward with steady, even pressure. If mouth-parts are left in the skin, try your best to remove them, but if not just let your skin heal normally, says the CDC. Then, make sure to clean the bite area with soap and water or alcohol.
Dispose of the tick in a sealed bag or container, wrapped up tightly in tape, or by flushing it down the toilet, says the CDC. Never crush it with your fingers, and of course, in the weeks to follow you should keep an eye out for any lingering symptoms, like a rash. See your doctor if you experience flu-like symptoms, such as achy muscles, fever, swollen lymph nodes, or other unusual reactions that dont feel normal
Ticks can be tiny and they can be easily missed, so its important to do thorough body check after youve spent time outdoors. Be sure to look carefully under your arms, around your ears, inside your belly button, behind your knees, between your legs, and in your hair. Checking yourself, kids, and pets can go a long way in minimizing contact with these critters, says Dill.
And as always, stock up on the best tick repellents before your next outdoor adventure.
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What Months Are Tick Season In The Us
Although tick season ranges across the country, the beginning of tick season is in April. In some areas of the country such as the Midwest, ticks will begin to pose problems in late April, whereas the Northeast will see tick season begin in mid-April. From April through to October, ticks will thrive in the wooded areas they live in. October typically marks the end of tick season however, the Northwest may see tick season last into November.
Image by Sam Solomon on : What months do ticks come out?Its important to know so you can avoid the risk of being bitten.
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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.
What Diseases Do Ticks Transmit To Humans
Although most tick bites do not transmit pathogens, some bites do. It is not possible to determine if a tick is carrying pathogens visually. The following is a list of all of the major tick-borne diseases, the usual tick vector or common ticks, and the pathogen the tick species that, if known, transmits them in the United States.
This list shows that some ticks can transmit more than one type of pathogenic microbe . It is possible to transmit more than one pathogen in a single tick bite, although this rarely occurs. Outbreaks of tick-related illnesses follow seasonal patterns as ticks evolve from larvae to adults.
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Does A Tick Bite Always Cause A Rash
Youve probably heard of the classic bullseye rash, which is one of the most distinct symptoms of Lyme disease. This circular rash is dark in the center and expands outward, like a bullseye, appearing about a week after the bite on any part of the body. It doesnt always look like that, though.
You may have a crusty spot with a splotch of redness around it that gets bigger, bluish rashes, or a red, oval plaque, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Catch is, this rash only appears 70 to 80% of the time, says the CDC. Remember that not all ticks carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease there are other types of rashes associated with other tick-borne illnesses. For instance, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause a red, speckled rash that appears first on wrists and ankles.
Its also important to keep in mind that rashes can be tough to distinguish from one another. The CDC has a whole page on rashes that resemble the bullseye associated with Lyme, but arent. These include large, itchy rashes, the ringworm fungus, and hives. If youre concerned about any rash or are worried you may have been bitten by a tick , call your doctor. In certain circumstances, they can prescribe a course of preventative antibiotics if Lyme disease is suspected or you live in a state with a high risk of Lyme.
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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What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that is spread to humans by tick bites. The ticks that carry the spirochete are:
Black-legged deer tick
Western black-legged tick
Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. Not all ticks carry the Lyme disease bacteria. Depending on the location, anywhere from less than 1% to more than 50% of the ticks are infected with it.
While most tick bites are harmless, several species can cause life-threatening diseases. Tick-borne diseases include:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
How Can I Prevent Bites From Ticks And Lyme Disease
You can keep yourself, your loved ones, and your pets from encountering Lyme ticks with a few easy, Be Tick AWARE prevention steps:
- Avoid high-traffic areas known to host ticks that carry Lyme disease like tall grasses and leaf piles
- Wear clothing to protect from ticks and Lyme disease, like long sleeves, pants, and socks
- Apply EPA-approved tick repellent properly
- Remove clothing to protect from ticks and Lyme disease, like long sleeves, pants, and socks
- Examine yourself for ticks daily as the risk of Lyme disease is always there
Learn more about preventing encounters with ticks that carry Lyme disease on our prevention page.
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Ticks Come In Many Different Varieties That Not Only Look Different But Also Live In Different Regions And Environments And Can Transmit Different Types Of Diseases To Both People And Animals
The purpose of this article is to provide some basic information about ticks, as well as key details about the various species that you are most likely to encounter in different regions of the United States. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been bitten by a tick of any kind, try to keep it as intact as possible so you can have it tested. Place it in a secure container so it can be evaluated by your healthcare provider, veterinarian, or local vector control for identification.
What Are Ticks?
Ticks belong to a group of animals called arthropods. Like spiders, they fall under the classification of arachnidsa specific type of arthropod with eight legs. Unlike spiders, however, ticks feed on blood from mammalsincluding people, pets and livestockas well as birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They have been reported in rural and urban environments around the world, but are most often found in grassy or wooded areas and are typically most active from spring through fall.
In general, ticks can be divided into two main families: hard ticks and soft ticks .
HARD TICKS Hard ticks all share the distinguishing trait of a hard outer shield or black plate, known as a scutum.
SOFT TICKS Soft ticks do not have a scutum but instead have more rounded bodies.
What is the Typical Lifecycle of a Tick?
Ticks generally have four stages of life: egg, larvae, nymph and adult.
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Lyme Disease Rashes And Look
Circular, expanding rash with target-like appearance.
Expanding rash with central crust
Expanding lesion with central crust on chest.
Expanding erythema migrans
Photo Credit: Reprinted from Bhate C, Schwartz RA. Lyme disease: Part I. Advances and perspectivesexternal icon. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011 64:619-36, with permission from Elsevier.
Description:Early, expanding erythema migrans with nodule.
Multiple rashes, disseminated infection
Early disseminated Lyme disease multiple lesions with dusky centers.
Red, oval plaque
Red, expanding oval-shaped plaque on trunk.
Expanding rash with central clearing
Circular, expanding rash with central clearing.
Bluish hued rash, no central clearing
Bluish hued without central clearing.
Expanding lesion, no central clearing
Expanding lesion without central clearing on back of knee.
Red-blue lesion with central clearing
Red-blue lesion with some central clearing on back of knee.
Insect bite hyper-sensitivity
Large itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to an insect bite.
Fixed drug reaction
Description:A skin condition that occurs up to two weeks after a person takes a medication. The skin condition reappears at the same location every time a person takes that particular medication.
Description:Ringworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus. Its called ringworm because it can cause a ring-shaped rash that is usually red and itchy with raised edges.
Pityriasis rosea rash
Granuloma annulare rash
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