Tick Time + Treatment Too
Reports of illness spread by tick bites are up in Alabama.
From a UAB News Release:
UAB Researchers say there has been a significant increase in tick borne diseases in Alabama:
|How to remove a tick and prevent bites
Walter Schrading, M.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of Wilderness Medicine says, if you find a tick on yourself or a loved one, there is no need to panic. “Removing the tick can be accomplished quite effectively and quickly with a set of fine-tipped tweezers,” he said.
The CDC recommends taking the following steps to remove a tick:
Walter Schrading, M.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of Wilderness Medicine says never crush a tick with fingers, and avoid folklore remedies like using nail polish, heat or petroleum jelly to encourage the tick to detach from the skin. “It’s best to remove the tick as quickly as possible,” he said.
As for avoiding tick bites, Schrading says the best methods to employ are using insect repellents containing DEET or permethrin and wearing long pants and socks if tick habitats including the woods and brushy areas cannot be avoided.
“After hiking or walking through the woods or thick brushy areas, always perform tick checks,” Schrading said. “Look in and around the hair and ears, under the arms, inside the belly button, the backs of the knees, between the legs, and around the waist.”
| “It is important to realize that, for the tick to actually transmit disease, it typically needs to be attached for about 24 hours or become engorged,” said Schrading, who is also an associate professor in UAB’s School of Medicine. “If a tick is crawling on the skin or is quickly removed, the chance of transmission of any infectious disease is extremely unlikely. However, after removing an engorged tick, one should be aware of flu-like symptoms, fever or rash in the following two to three weeks and seek treatment if this develops.”