97.5 Y-Country Medical Minute – Preventing Tick Bites

by Matt Malone & Rose Willson

When we think ticks in southwest Michigan, we instantly think Lyme disease.  Not all ticks carry diseases, but tick-borne diseases do occur in Michigan and can be serious or fatal if not properly diagnosed and treated.   This week’s Y-Country Medical Minute quickly discusses what to do if you find a tick on you or a loved one.

Where should I look?

Ticks prefer body creases and areas with hair such as the armpit, neck, ankle, and scalp.

Oh No! A Tick!!!!

To remove attached ticks, use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible then slowly, but firmly, pull it straight out.  DO NOT twist or jerk the tick. This can lead to skin infection because the tick’s mouth parts may remain embedded. Use fingernails and tissue if tweezers are not available.

Immediately wash the bite area and your hands with soap and water then apply an
antiseptic to the bite wound.

Keep an Eye on Your Wound

Immediate removal of ticks is the best method to decrease the chance of infection.   The symptoms of Lyme disease may appear 3 to 30 days after exposure to ticks or their habitat.   Early localized Lyme disease may have the following symptoms: Chills and fever, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and a characteristic skin rash – present in 70 to 80% of cases.  Most people experience a rash that looks like a target or bullseye.

What do I do if I show symptoms?

Contact your primary care physician immediately. If you do not have a primary care physician, Cassopolis Family Clinic Network has locations in Cassopolis and Niles. Please call ahead for an appointment.

 97.5 Y-Country Medical Minute

Tune in to the Y-Country Medical Minute brought to you by Cassopolis Family Clinic Network every Monday morning at 8:40 on 97.5 Y-Country, during the Matt Malone Morning Show.

This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).