When to worry about a Tick Bite

migrans, when to worry about a tick bite

Is every tick bite dangerous? Does every tick bite make me sick? What are the Symptoms of a tick-transmitted disease? The most important answers to when to worry about a tick bite.

Ticks lurk in the undergrowth in the forest, in grasslands, and bushes, but also in our gardens around our homes. Diseases transmitted by ticks are a danger to anyone who is active outdoors. Tick protection is important and can be effective when precautions are observed. Still, there is no 100% being save from tick bite. So when you are bitten you need to know what symptoms to look for and when to worry about a tick bite.

When to worry about a tick bite?

The bite of a tick may become more then just a small bite wound if it gets infected or worse if the tick transmits bacteria that cause Lyme disease or another tick-borne disease. If you respond appropriately to a tick bite, you minimize the risk of contracting a serious illness. It is particularly important to remove the tick quickly and completely.

Symptoms of infection after tick bite – go and see a doctor!

There are at least 16 tick-transmitted diseases that can infect a human when bitten. Symptoms can vary depending on the sickness and how the sickness develops in an infected individual.  Some common symptoms to look out for are reminiscent of flu:
  • Fatigue,
  • A headache,
  • Fever,
  • Muscle aches
  • Lymph node swelling
  • Conjunctivitis

If the above symptoms appear a couple of days after a tick bite, there is a risk of having a tick-transmitted disease contracted. Patients should then seek immediate medical attention.

Which diseases are transmitted by ticks?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that initially causes flu-like symptoms. In the further course of the illness, it can cause muscle and joint pain, cardiac muscle inflammations as well as paralysis, especially in the face. Untreated Lyme disease can result in permanent disability.
There are several other viral diseases that can be transmitted by tick bites. They are very dangerous and can sometimes fatal.

After a tick bite – Remove the tick as soon as possible

If you have been bitten by a tick, you should act quickly and remove the tick. This can be done with tick tweezers or tick removal card but is also possible with other tools. It is crucial to completely remove the tick and to NOT squeeze the tick’s body. Inspect the removed animal to see if it is complete.
Early removal is crucial to reduce the risk of infection as it takes about 24 to 48 hours to transfer pathogens from the ticks intestines into the human bloodstream.

Observation of the bite site

After removal of the tick regularly check the skin around the bite site. If a red ring appears around the bite, or a redness appears anywhere on your body you may be infected with Lyme disease. Go and see your doctor. Also consult your doctor on the occurrence of fever, headaches or muscle and joint pain.

To sum it up when to worry about a tick bite

After a tick bite, you should remove the tick immediately and then observe the bite site for a few days. In case of inflammation, a visit to the doctor is recommended.
  • Remove the tick as soon as possible and correctly (without squeezing the tick’s body).
  • The bite site may be a little red. This can a be a normal skin reaction to the bite. It should disappear after a couple of days.
  • Signs of a tick-borne infection occur at the earliest 7 days after the sting. So monitor the bite site and your body for symptoms.
  • Not all tick bites will result in a tick-transmitted disease. Only 4% of tick bites lead to an infection!
  • If symptoms appear after a couple of days, do not panic! See your doctor!
  • Lyme disease almost always begins with a redness (migrans) at the bite site. This occurs at the earliest after seven days and is then at least 4 inches wide. the redness slowly grows. In rare cases, the infection starts with flu-like symptoms and muscle aches after 1 to 2 weeks. See your doctor! When recognised early, Lyme disease can in most cases be successfully treated with antibiotics.
  • Diseases transmitted by viruses show symptoms after about a week. If you show any symptoms see your doctor. 
  • Use Tick repellent to prevent the risk of getting bitten by a tick.

If symptoms occur after a tick bite, a doctor should immediately be consulted. No matter what disease – a fast diagnosis and treatment can prevent severe progression and late effects or at least reduce the risk.

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