Tick Talk --From Your ALT School Nurse
General info :
- New Jersey has one of the highest rates of Lyme Disease (tick-borne illnesses).
- All ticks can transmit Lyme Disease (not necessarily limited to deer ticks).
- Stone walls attract small rodents which can also carry ticks. Bird feeders mayincrease the incidence of ticks.
- Avoid pets on furniture and sleeping with kids. Ticks can travel from your furry animal onto the skin of your family.
- Avoid tick infested areas and sitting directly on the ground. Use EPA approved
- Frequent tick checks are probably your best protection from tick-borne illnesses.
- Removing ticks before they adhere to the skin, prevents the transmission of infection.
Tick Removal :
- Teach children to seek adult help for tick removal.
- Improper removal can increase the chances of infectious transmission of tick fluids and thus developing Lyme Disease and related tick-borne illnesses.
*Use a fine point tweezer and grasp tick mouth parts (place of attachment—as close to the skin as possible). Remove the tick with a steady pull away from the skin. Use a steady pressure and gently pull the tick straight out. Never squeeze, twist, or yank the body of a tick. Never put substances or fluids on the tick.
*If you save the tick for testing, place it in a sealed plastic bag with a moistened (water)
cotton ball. If a tick is positive, a course of antibiotics is indicated---see the doctor.
*Tick testing labs include:
- IgeneX Labs, Palo Alto, CA (800) 832-3200
- MDL, Mt. Laurel, NJ (877) 269-0090
- NJ Labs, New Brunswick, NJ (732) 249-0148
*Some Lyme literate specialists feel that testing ticks may not always be 100% accurate.
Tick Removal Details
1. Disinfect tweezers.
2. Wash hands thoroughly.
3. If discarding tick, wrap in toilet tissue and flush into toilet.
4. Don’t touch tick with bare hands.
5. Clean area of the tick bite with an antiseptic and apply antibiotic ointment.
*Contact your doctor.
*Mark your calendar on the day of the tick removal.
*Be alert that some reports and researchers state that less than 40% of people develop
a rash (bulls-eye) after a tick bite.
*Many rashes that do develop after exposure to infectious tick bites may not present as
the “classical bulls-eye” rash. You may see a solid red rash – possibly 3” diameter or
larger, and may be smaller, too. Consult your medical professional as needed.
*New research supports 6 weeks of antibiotic therapy for Lyme Disease. Other tick-
borne illnesses may also be transmitted from one tick bite.
*Taking advantage of the “window of opportunity” for treatment of Lyme Disease can mean the difference between wellness and illness and the avoidance of an unknown course of chronic illness.
*It may be advisable to treat tick bites when there is:
- a large rash or bulls-eye rash
- an engorged tick upon removal
- tick bite in an endemic area with high incidence of lyme and tick-borne illness
- history of immune-suppressed state of health
If fever or flu-like illness develops within 4 weeks after a known tick bite, consider treatment for Lyme Disease! Flu-like symptoms include fatigue, malaise, achy, fever, headache,swollen glands or joints, and chills.
Log onto www.lymediseaseassociation.org for more information and other websites.
Above information taken from various Lyme Disease Publications/Pamphlets.
Stay safe and healthy!