Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
What are tick-borne
Tick-borne diseases are a group of illnesses
that people get from tick bites. They occur in all areas of the United States
and affect people of all ages. These diseases are more common in the spring and
summer months when tick bites are more common. Some of the tick-borne diseases
in the United States are Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis (say: "er-lick-ee-o-sis"),
Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia (say: "too-la-ree-me-a").
Who gets tick-borne
People who spend time in areas where tick bites
are common, either for work or recreation, are at higher risk of getting
tick-borne diseases. Ticks usually wait near the top of grassy plants and low
bushes for people or animals to brush up against their perch. Ticks will often
crawl upward on a person's clothes or body for up to several hours or more
before attaching to the skin.
How would I know if I have a
You may first feel like you have flu symptoms:
fever, chills and body aches. You may also have a rash. You may not remember
being bitten by a tick.
How are tick-borne diseases
Most tick-borne diseases can be treated with
antibiotics. You will get better more quickly if you see a doctor and begin
treatment right away.
How can I prevent tick-borne
The best way to prevent tick-borne diseases is
to avoid being bitten by ticks. When you are outdoors, follow these guidelines:
- Use tick repellents according to their
instructions to help prevent bites. Tick repellents that contain DEET can be put
directly on your skin or on your clothing before going into tick-infested areas.
Repellents containing permethrin should only be put on clothing.
- Wear shirts with long sleeves and wear long pants
to prevent ticks from getting into the skin. Tuck pant legs into socks to help
you see ticks before they get on your skin and bite. Check your entire body for
ticks after you have been in tick-infested areas.
- Remove any attached ticks as soon as possible. To
remove an attached tick, use fine tweezers to grab the tick firmly by the head
or as close to the head as possible and pull. Do not use heat, petroleum jelly
or other things on the tick to try to make it "back out" on its own.