If You’re Bitten By a Tick

16 Sep

An infected tick needs to be attached for at least 36 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease, says Michael T. Melia, M.D., an associate professor of infectious diseases at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.

If you find a tick on your body:  Remove it with fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp it as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward steadily, without twisting the tick. Place it in a concealed bag or container and toss it in the garbage. Or flush it down the toilet. Then clean the area and your hands with soap and water.

Each day for several weeks, check the area where the tick was attached. If you spot a rash or have symptoms such as a fever, severe headaches, joint pain, or limb weakness, see a doctor. The Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends preventive treatment only if the attached insect is identified as a blacklegged tick, it’s thought to have been attached for 36 hours or more, and the local rate of tick infection with Lyme disease is more than 20percent. In these cases, a 200-mg dose of doxycycline within 72 hours of tick removal is appropriate for adults.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health July 2017

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