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Tick Bites

Tick bites are a common occurrence in the United States. They are typically painless but can cause swelling, redness, rashes, and disease. Ticks are arachnids, which means they have 8 legs. They are also parasites and require blood meals from other mammals in order to survive.

Tick Bite Symptoms

Lyme-disease is commonly spread by deer-ticks. If you experience any flu-like symptoms after a tick bite, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Below is a list of the most common diseases and bite symptoms transmitted by ticks and mites in North America, most of them causing fever:

DISEASEPATHOGENSYMPTOMSPRIMARY VECTOR
Colorado Tick FeverVirusFever, Chills, Light SensitivityDernacebtir abdersibu, D. Occidentalis
Human BabesiosisBabesia MicrotiFever, Excessive Sweating, AnorexiaIxodes sp.
Lyme DiseaseBorrelia BurgdorferiFever, Rashing, FatigueIxodes scapularis, Ixodes pacificus
Powassan CencephalitisVirusFever, Partial Paralysis, ConfusionIxodes cookei
Relapsing FeverBirrekua GernsuFever, Chills, Muscle PainIxodes scapularis
Rickettsial PoxRickettsia AkariaFever, Chills, FatigueOrnithodoros hermsi, O. perkeri, O. turicata
Rocky Mountain Spotted FeverReickettsia RickettsiiFever, Headache, Muscle PainLiponyssoides sanguineus
Tick paralysisNeurotoxinLoss of muscle functionDermacentor andersoni, D. variabilis
TularemiaFrancisella TublarensisFever, Chills, Shortness of breathDermacentor andersoni, D. variabilis
Human Monocytic EhrlichiosisErlichia ChaffeensisFever, Headache, Pin shaped rashesAmblyonamma aericanun, Dermacentor andersoni, D. variabilis
Human Granulocytic EhrlichiosisErlichia PhagocytophilaFever, Headache, Pin shaped rashesIxodes scapularis

Tick Bite Treatment

Tick bite treatments should focus on topical cleansing and be treated with an antiseptic-like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If you don't have any alcohol, soap is the next best thing. The tick should be removed using a pair of tweezers or may even be burned off using a lighter. Remove the tick as gently as possible to avoid breaking off parts of the mouth under the skin, which could lead to infection. Ticks are extremely resilient, so after you've properly removed one, either toss it outside or ensure that it's dead before disposal.

Avoiding Tick Bites

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Avoiding tick infested areas is the best way to prevent tick bites (wooded or tall grassy areas). Other precautions are based on apparel, where long jeans, hair tucked beneath a hat, and long sleeve shirts are all recommended in tick infested areas. Light clothing should be worn, as it can make ticks easier to spot. When you have returned home, immediately wash and dry clothing.

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