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WHAT TO DO AFTER A TICK BITE

While a warm winter might have killed off some adult ticks, May is typically the month when they start to emerge and cases of LYME are diagnosed. While many people are concerned after removing a tick, the risk of acquiring a tick borne infection is quite low.

A tick that has not attached and has not yet become engorged has not passed any infection.  If a person is bitten by a deer tick, a healthcare provider will likely advise one of two approaches: either to observe and treat if symptoms of infection develop or to treat with a preventive antibiotic immediately. The history of the tick bite will determine which of these options is chosen.

Even if a tick is attached it must become engorged to transmit LYME disease.  At least 36 to 48 hours of the tick being on the skin is required for a tick to have transmitted the bacteria that causes LYME disease.

Prior to seeking medical attention the tick should be carefully removed. The proper technique is to use a fine set of tweezers and grip the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upwards gently after a few seconds to give the tick a chance to release, using a steady and even pressure.DO not twist or jerk the tick off.  If any of the mouth parts of the tick remain they will expel on their own. Any attempts to remove these could cause skin trauma or an infection.

Do not use a match or cigarette, nail polish or Vaseline, liquid soap or kerosene to try to remove the tick as this could cause it to act like a syringe and inject venom into the skin.

Remember if you have questions about a tick, tick removal  or tick borne illness call your health care provider immediately or be seen at the Urgent Care for evaluation.

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