Tick bites are caused by ticks that are small spider-like in shape that can bite and fasten themselves on the skin and feed on blood. Ticks live in the feathers and fur of different animals and birds. Ticks typically bite during early spring up to late summer in areas where there are many birds and wild animals in the surroundings.
Most ticks do not carry disease and majority of tick bites do not cause serious health problems. It is vital to remove a tick as soon as one is discovered. Removing the body of the tick can help avoid any diseases that can be passed on during the feeding. Taking away the head of the tick can prevent infection in the skin. Some individuals can develop an allergic reaction to a tick bite. The reaction can be mild accompanied with few symptoms. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction can likely develop especially those who might be allergic to the bite.
Diseases that can be passed on by ticks
Majority of the diseases carried by ticks can cause flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fever, vomiting, headache and muscle aches. These symptoms can start from the first day up to 3 weeks after the bite was given. Oftentimes, a rash or sore can develop along with the flu-like symptoms.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Lyme disease
- Relapsing fever
In rare cases, a tick bite can cause tick paralysis which is a rare disease that can occur right after a tick bites. In other parts of the world, tick bites can result to other tick-related diseases.
Always bear in mind that your risk of contracting one of these diseases depends on where you live, country traveled to, how much time spent in the wilderness and how you protect yourself.
What to do with tick bites
- The tick must be removed immediately but in a careful manner. You can utilize tweezers to hold the tick close to its head or mouth and then gently pull to remove the entire tick without crushing it.
- With soap and water, wash your hands and the area around the tick bite after handling the tick.
- If possible, place the tick in a container and put it in the freezer. The doctor might want to check the tick in case you develop signs or symptoms of illnesses after a bite.
- Get in touch with your doctor if the tick could not be removed completely.
When to see a doctor
If the individual develops the following symptoms, it is best to call your doctor.
- Stiff neck
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Muscle aches
- Flu-like symptoms
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Light sensitivity to the skin or eyes
You have to call for emergency assistance if the individual develops a severe headache, paralysis, breathing difficulty, heart palpitations and chest pain.