Tick Bite Treatment & Lyme Disease Prevention
Ticks are associated with warm spring and summer days; however, ticks are active year-round, even in the Northeast. And, they can carry a range of diseases that are harmful to humans. It only takes 48-hours of above-freezing temperatures for ticks to become active. Ticks are the most active from around spring to late summer months in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. A major concern with tick bites is the spread of Lyme disease.
How to Reduce Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses?
If you are bitten by a tick, removing the tick within 24 hours will greatly reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. Therefore, performing daily tick checks is important so a tick can be removed before it transmits Lyme disease.
Ticks are carriers of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is passed to a human from the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Typically no larger than a small seed, these ticks tend to climb plants and grass, where they wait for a host. Once an animal or human passes by, the tick affixes itself to the host, so it can draw blood for nourishment. As it does, an infected tick may then transmit Borrelia burgdorferi into the host’s bloodstream.
In addition to Lyme disease, ticks have the potential to transmit other illnesses as well, including Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and a rare but dangerous pathogen dubbed the Powassan (POW) virus. These illnesses often present with similar symptoms including fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, and vomiting and require medical attention.
You can reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick and being exposed to a tick-borne illness by:
- Using insect repellent
- Wearing long sleeves
- Wearing long pants tucked into socks when walking through wooded areas
Lyme Disease Symptoms
Lyme disease causes several telltale symptoms, including:
- Joint pain
Diagnosing Lyme Disease & Tick Bite Evaluation
If you’ve been bitten by a tick or suspect you’ve been bitten by a tick, it is important to visit your doctor or a local PhysicianOne Urgent Care as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment. PhysicianOne Urgent Care offers tick removal, tick bite or rash assessment, and preventative treatment. With convenient hours and several center locations, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is the perfect option if you’ve been bitten by or suspect you’ve been bitten by a tick.
If you’re experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately or go to your local emergency room.