Your Health- Tick bites

Health Reports

Each year ticks bite millions of Americans and these pesky critters can make a person very sick.

Here is more on how to prevent a tick bite.

They’re small, blood sucking bugs and you don’t want them to bite you. A tick can spread serious diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, and others.

“It’s very important for people to protect themselves against tick bites,” said Kathleen Townes, MD, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, North Shore Physician Group.

To do that, avoid tick infested areas like grassy or wooded spots, walk in the center of trails, wear long pants, sleeves, and a hat.

It is a good idea to tuck in your pants into your socks. Also use a chemical insect repellant that contains deet, permethrin, or picaridin.

Make sure that pets are treated with tick prevention medicine and don’t let them sleep in your bed. Also check yourself daily for ticks, the sooner you remove one the better.

“Lyme Disease is not transmitted unless the tick is attached for at least 36 hours,” said Dr. Townes.

To remove a tick, use pointed tweezers to grab it as close as possible to your skin. Without squeezing, pull the tick straight out keeping it intact.

If the head remains, leave it. Seal the tick in a plastic zip top bag. Rub the bite with alcohol and wash your hands, but also remember,

“If you can avoid getting exposed to a tick in the first place, that is the best thing you can do for yourself,” said Dr. Townes.

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