Save The Ticks!!

Hello everyone:

This is basically a public service announcement, as this super nice weather brings us outdoors and into contact with all kinds of bugs, and the ones we most need to be alert to are ticks. If you are ever bitten by a tick, it is important that you save the tick (alive or dead) in a small plastic bag or other sealed container that they cannot escape if still alive. There are several reasons that it is super important to save them:

1.       For identification of the type of tick and if there is any risk of infection. Some sites will test for up to 25 possible tick-born infections, but it depends on the type of tick for which infections they will test for.

2.       To send them in for analysis, i.e., to see if they are carrying infection(s) of any kind so that you know if you need to take quick medical measures with appropriate prescription anti-biotics and other strategies.

These tick sites below offer lots of helpful tips on how to remove a tick, how to make your clothes tick repellent, and you can even send in a picture with the best next actions to take. Here is a good link from the CDC on tick removal and testing.

These sites offer in-depth tick testing for disease along with more helpful hints. and (related sites through U. of Rhode Island)

BOTTOM LINE: Be alert and be prepared! Consider having a test kit in your medicine cabinet as a precaution and to speed up testing results. Just this past 6 weeks, there have been 7 people in our practice report new tick bites, and no one had saved the little stinkers, so those people were referred for antibiotics that they may or may not have needed. It would have been great to know if there was a risk by having the ability to check out the tick, but no one had saved the tick. So…keep your eyes open and check yourself after being outside as well as if you have children, or a cat and/or dog that goes outside as they can bring them into the house and bite others.

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