Hi, I'm Dr. Emily Hall, Internal Medicine, Hudson Hospital Internal Medicine Clinic. Welcome to my blog!
Summertime is here! It's time for picnics, swimming, boating, fishing, camping… and daily tick checks.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about tick-borne illness. The prevalence of these diseases has been increasing in recent years, and it’s not only Lyme Disease we have to worry about anymore – there are also the scarier-sounding anaplasmosis and babesiosis. As with most illnesses, the best medicine is prevention. You can still enjoy your favorite summer activities while protecting yourself from tick-borne disease.
Here are some tips:
- Walk in the center of paths so your legs do not brush against tall grass and bushes or trees
- For non-pregnant adults, the CDC recommends repellents that contain 20-30% DEET on exposed skin and products that contain 0.5% permethrin on clothing
- you can buy clothing that is pre-treated with permethrin and maintains protective through several washes
- bathe or shower within 2 hours of coming indoors to find and wash off crawling ticks
- conduct a full-body tick check before going to sleep at night
- dry clothes on high heat for an hour to kill any remaining ticks
If you find an embedded tick, remove it as soon as possible:
- Before removing the tick, do not paint it with nail polish or other substances; it is most important to remove it quickly
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick right against the skin surface
- Pull with a constant steady pressure
- After the tick is removed, clean the skin with alcohol or soap and water
- If you think the tick has been embedded for at least 36 hours, call your doctor after you remove it because you doctor may want to prescribe an antibiotic
After you remove a tick, be on the lookout for symptoms of tick-borne illness, which usually begin 3-30 days after the tick bite:
- A red, expanding rash at the site of the tick bite
- Flu-like symptoms including fever, headaches, nausea, muscle and joint aches, enlarged lymph nodes
- See your doctor if you develop these symptoms
What are your tick-borne disease questions? Join the conversation on our Facebook.
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