Yuck! What to do if bitten by a tick

Ticks are one of the most common bugs that affect animals and humans alike during the spring and summer months. Some people don’t even realize they have a tick on them until it is too late and they are either bitten or become ill.

So if you are bitten by a tick, what should you do?

The first thing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says is if the tick is still on you, you are to use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull up with “steady even pressure,” making sure not to twist the tick or tweezers.

After the tick is removed, clean the bite with rubbing alcohol or soapy water. Then, flush the tick down the toilet. The CDC says that you can also place the tick in rubbing alcohol and place it in a sealed bag if you’d like to show it to your healthcare provider.

The CDC says that if you have been infected, you probably will develop symptoms even before the results of the tick test are available. If you become ill, it is advised not to wait for the results of the tick test to come back and see your doctor.

How to remove a tick

If you find a tick attached to your skin, simply remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers works very well.|
1. Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by:
• Putting it in alcohol.
• Placing it in a sealed bag/container.
• Wrapping it tightly in tape.
• Or flushing it down the toilet.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor.
• Tell the doctor about your recent tick bite.
• When the bite occurred.
• Where you most likely acquired the tick.

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