By Eva Milotte
Not all ticks carry Lyme disease. But even the kinds that don’t can pass along other nasty infections.
If you find a tick attached to you, a family member, or a pet, quick and complete removal is key. Follow these tips for success:
1. Using fine-point tweezers or a special tick-removing tool, grasp the tick as close to your skin’s surface as you can.
2. Pull straight out with steady and even pressure. Avoid squeezing or breaking the tick.
3. You may wish save the tick in case you decide to have it tested by a lab, health department, or veterinarian for diseases. Place it in a small plastic bag or vial with a moist cotton ball to prevent the tick from drying out.
4. Wash hands thoroughly. Disinfect the tweezers and the site of the bite.
5. See your healthcare practitioner if you exhibit a red rash at the site of the tick bite, flu-like symptoms, or joint pains within the first few weeks after being bitten. These may signal Lyme disease.
“Co-Infection Introduction”; “Lyme Disease Introduction”; “Personal Prevention,” www.lymedisease.org
“Lyme Disease,” American Lyme Disease Foundation, www.aldf.com, 4/26/10
“Mosquito-Borne Diseases,” www.mosquito.org, 2011
“Top Ten Facts You Need to Know About Ticks,” www.tickencounter.org, 2013