No Such Thing As “Just A Tick Bite”
Good old Ben Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. While a lot has changed in the nearly 300 years since he stated this, a lot has stayed the same. When it comes to ticks, prevention is certainly better than cure. If you have a backyard with trees or enjoy hiking and camping, chances are, you’ll encounter ticks.
Ticks are tiny insects that can be as small as a freckle. They’re found mostly close to the ground and bite humans and animals too depending on the species. A bite can lead to infections such as lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Considered one of the deadliest tick diseases, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be fatal in 80 percent of cases if not treated, according to the Mayo Clinic. Even those who get medical care can be left with organ damage and amputated limbs. Check out the full post at Fredericksburg.com…
Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and at times a rash at the site of the tick bite. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be found in other diseases too, and so may be ignored or incorrectly diagnosed.
RMSF may not be common in Virginia, but cases have been found. While it doesn’t lead to long-term or persistent infections, there can be left-over permanent damage.
“Quintin was lucky that it didn’t affect the bone and they didn’t have to [cut off] up the ankle,” his wife said. “But he’s angry and sad, rightfully so, and he doesn’t want to look at it.” (Fredericksburg.com)
RMSF can lead to the amputation of toes, legs, fingers or arms. It can also cause mental disability, hearing loss and even paralysis. These permanent damages are interestingly attributed to the acute illness of RMSF, not chronic infection.
Armed with knowledge on the fact that a “simple” tick bite can quickly progress to loss of limbs, hearing or mental acuity, what’s next? Since it can be tough to diagnose tick-borne diseases, be your own CSI.
Because of the difficulty with diagnosis, Gaines suggested that people who are bitten remove the ticks carefully and save them, either in vials of alcohol or plastic bags that can be put in the freezer. Note the date of the bite and be on the lookout for symptoms. (Fredericksburg.com)
Collecting the evidence of a tick bite is vital and may help doctors with diagnosis. Also, when going hiking or out in the backyard, or if the kids are playing in leaf packs, make sure one’s socks are tucked into one’s pants. Spray yourself with tick repellent like permethrin (on your clothes though, not your bare skin).
Another important step in preventing tick-borne diseases is contacting Backyard Bug Patrol. This company began as a result of dealing with lyme disease personally. We know firsthand that there really is no such thing as “just a tick bite.” We have licensed applicators who will spray your yard to kill any present ticks and repel any future ones. Call us today and ask us about our Tick Tunnels!