The folks at Piedmont Outpatient Center at Piedmont West want you to know it is tick season and to be careful. While most tick bites are harmless, but there are several species that can cause life-threatening diseases. Two of these well-known diseases are Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. Ticks can also transmit tularemia (a plague-like disease in rodents that can be transmitted to man), relapsing fever, and a newly identified ailment called ehrlichiosis (an abrupt illness consisting of fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss).
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease (LD) is a multi-stage, multi-system bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, a spiral shaped bacterium that is most commonly transmitted by a tick bite.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme disease continues to be a rapidly emerging infectious disease. About 20,000 people are infected each year in the US.
What types of ticks transmit LD?
* Ixodes scapularis (Deer tick)
* Ixodes dammini
* Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick)
* Ixodes pacificus
Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, seashores, and yards.
Lyme disease is a year-round problem, although, April through October is considered tick season, with ticks being very active in the spring and early summer.
What to do if you find a tick:
- Do not touch the tick with your bare hand.
- Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.
- Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Do not squeeze the tick, use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.
- Save the tick and place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if necessary.
- *Wash the area of the bite well with soap and water and apply an antiseptic lotion or cream.
- Call your physician to find out about follow-up care and testing of the tick for spirochetes (organisms that may be carried by the tick).
Piedmont Outpatient Center at Piedmont West
Tel: 404-425-79791800 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga, 30318.
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