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Watch out, it's tick time

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 16:03

In the summer months, tick bites are a real concern for patients, especially those who spend a large amount of time outdoors or who have pets. To prevent tick bites and associated illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control has three simple recommendations:

Avoid contact with ticks whenever possible. Stay away from wooded areas and places with a lot of high grass or brush.

Repel ticks with DEET or Permethrin.

Find and remove ticks from your body before they can bite you. Shower within two hours of coming indoors and conduct a full-body tick check to find any that might be crawling on you. Areas to check include under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and in the hair, according to the CDC. Pets should also be carefully examined to make sure they aren't carrying any unwanted travelers that can later attach to you. You should also make sure any gear or clothing is free of ticks when you come inside.Removed tick

If you do find a tick on your body or on your pet, the CDC recommends the following removal method:

  1. 1. Using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.

  2. 2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick. If part of the tick breaks off, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

  3. 3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

After a tick bite, you should check yourself for the following symptoms:

  • Fever/chills
  • Aches, pains, headache
  • Fatigue
  • Rash

If you experience any of these symptoms following a tick bite, seek medical help immediately.


For a list of tickborne diseases, refer to the CDC website here.


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