The Public Health Department is reminding residents about the importance of protecting themselves against tick-borne illnesses. Although tick bites can happen year-round, they are especially prevalent during the summer.
Avoid Direct Contact
Avoid wooded and brushy
areas with high grass and leaf litter — ticks wait in vegetation and attack
Keep a tidy yard.
Walk in the center of
Use repellent that
contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on exposed skin, being
sure to follow product instructions.
Find and Remove Ticks
from Your Body
Bathe or shower as soon
as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that
may be crawling on you.
Conduct a full-body tick
check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body.
Check areas carefully where ticks like to hide — between the toes, backs of the
knees, groin, armpits, neck, along the hairline, and behind the ears.
Ticks can ride into the
home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets,
coats and gear.
If you find a tick
attached to your skin, don’t panic. Use a pair of fine point tweezers to grip
the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out with steady
You should not apply
kerosene, petroleum jelly, nail polish, or a hot match tip to remove the tick.
These measures are not effective and may result in injury.
Circle the calendar date
and note where on the body the tick was removed. You may want to save the tick
Your physician may choose
to treat you following a tick bite. Notify your healthcare provider if you
have been bitten by a tick or if you develop a rash or other signs of
illness following a tick bite.
Common Symptoms of
If you have been bitten by a tick, the most common symptoms of tick-related
Fever/chills: With all tick-borne diseases, patients can
experience fever at varying degrees and time of onset.
and pains: Tick-borne disease
symptoms include headache, fatigue and muscle aches. With Lyme disease,
patients may also experience joint pain. The severity and time of onset of
these symptoms can depend on the disease and the patient’s personal tolerance
Rash: Tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease,
southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), Rocky Mountain spotted fever
(RMSF), ehrlichiosis, and tularemia can all result in distinctive rashes.
Tick-borne diseases can
result in mild symptoms to severe infections. Although treated with
antibiotics, these diseases can be difficult for physicians to diagnose. Early
recognition and treatment of these infections decreases the risk of serious
complications. See your doctor immediately if you have been bitten by a tick
and experience any of the symptoms described here.
more information about ticks and tick-related illnesses, visit the Massachusetts
Department of Public Health https://www.mass.gov/tick-borne-diseases