Your Family's Safety
If you spend time outdoors, you are apt to pick up a tick from time to time. Don’t panic if you do. Medical experts differ on the time it takes for a tick to infect a host- ranging from several hours to up to 30 hours after the bite for infection to occur. If you perform a daily tick check, you greatly reduce your chances of contracting tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease. Here’s how to remove a tick:
Using a pair of fine pointed tweezers, grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin. Pull straight out with a steady motion. A tick’s mouthpart is barbed like a fish-hook. It may take several minutes of applying steady pressure for the tick to let go. Avoid squishing the tick or pulling side-to side. Once removed:
- Wash the site thoroughly with soap and water, disinfect with antiseptic.
- If black-legged tick was engorged, contact your physician for treatment.
- Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may include an expanding red rash, flu-like symptoms, and/or joint pain and swelling. Only 40% to 70% of Lyme disease victims may develop a rash within two days to four weeks. If untreated, more severe symptoms may develop, sometimes months to years later.
- Fill out a record of tick removal form.