The seriousness of a tick bite can vary, depending on where you live. For most people, a tick bite is problematic because it is unpleasant and can become infected, but for those who live in an area that is endemic for Lyme disease, a tick bite can mean the transmission of severe disease.
Use Tweezers to remove the tick
To prevent this, remove the tick by grasping the tick with tweezers, as near the skin as possible, and gently pull it straight out without squeezing it, since this can result in bacteria being injected into the bite if the tick is infected. Do not try to remove the tick with your fingers or use lighted cigarettes, matches, or nail polish.
Thoroughly cleanse the area and apply alcohol and antibiotic cream. Save the tick so that your state of the local Health Department can identify it for epidemiological purposes and to determine if it was a disease carrier. Identification is essential where Lyme disease is suspected.
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is a zoonosis, meaning it is primarily an animal disease that can infect humans. It is usually transmitted by an insect vector.
The disease is reported worldwide and throughout the United States, especially in the states of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and New Jersey.
Different ticks carry the disease in different regions. Ixodes dammini, which is a parasite of deer, carry the disease in the Northeast and Midwest, Ixodes scapularis (the black-legged tick) is responsible for cases of Lyme disease reported in the South. In contrast, Ixodes pacificus (the western black-legged tick) spreads the disease in the West. Dermacentor variabilis (the American dog tick) may also be capable of transmitting the disease.
Not all ticks are infected, and infected deer ticks are responsible for most of the cases of Lyme disease in the northeastern United States. The tick has three life stages, and they take a blood meal from a warm-blooded animal, including man, at each stage to complete the life cycle.
When humans are infected with the Lyme disease bacterium, a characteristic rash or lesion that looks like a red, bull’s eye type ring, called erythema migrans, is seen within a few days to weeks. During this period, with or without the rash, victims will experience flu-like symptoms, such as headache, sore throat, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and general malaise.
— Global Lyme Alliance (@LymeAlliance) September 7, 2019
If a rash is present, take a picture of it to show your physician to aid in the Lyme disease diagnosis, which can be challenging to make. Often, these early symptoms disappear without a diagnosis or treatment, which may lead to severe problems late.
The later symptoms of Lyme disease can be quite severe since muscle pain, and arthritis, usually of the large joints, as well as neurological symptoms, including meningitis, numbness, Bell’s palsy (loss of control of one or both sides of the face), severe pain and fatigue and depression may all occur.
Symptoms often come and go, and chronic Lyme disease resembles several other diseases, complicating diagnosis and treatment. Lyme disease should be treated with antibiotics at the onset to lessen the possibility of developing chronic disease and the severity of any later symptoms that do occur. Read this article to find out how to get rid of ticks.