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Treating Tick Bites

Treating Tick Bites

Ticks bites generally require nothing more than the removal of the tick and cleanliness at the bite site.  If you present with symptoms of a tick-borne diseases, you will then require treatment.

What Are My Odds Of Getting a Tick-borne Disease?

The odds of getting a tick-borne disease are very low.

As an example when ticks were tested for Lyme disease in Connecticut researchers found that at any given time only 10-30% of the tick population carried the disease.  Take those odds and lower them substantially because the infected tick also requires a prolonged attachment to transmit the disease.  If it is removed promptly, there is little chance of infection.  According to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station during the first 24 hours of tick attachment, there is no transmission of Lyme disease.  By 48 hours, the chance of transmission rose to 12.5%.  At 72 hours the rate of transmission increases to 75%, and by day 4, if the infected tick has not been removed and has become engorged the likelihood of transmission is almost 100%.

What about Prophylactic Antibiotic for Tick Bites?

Since most tick-borne diseases respond well to antibiotics within a few days, and the likelihood of a tick bite transmitting the tick-borne disease relatively low, prophylactic antibiotics are rarely recommended except in those cases where the threat of the possible disease would be dangerous such as is the case with pregnant women.



Schwartz. M.D, M.S., Brian. “Controversies Surrounding Lyme Disease.” Arthritis Information | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2010.

“Tick bites: First aid –” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2010.

Stafford PhD, Kirby C. “Tick Bite and Prevention.” The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. N.p., 1

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