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Diagnosis and Treatment of Tick-Borne Disease

By / May 1, 2017 / / 0 Comments
Emergency One Urgent Care
Credit: Map: CDC. Annotation: Katie Park/NPR

Ticks are poised to more abundant this year than in several decades. The past couple of weeks, we’ve written about the explosion in the tick population set to take place this spring and summer and tips on how to prevent tick bites. This week, we will focus on the symptoms and treatment of tick bites.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) many tick-borne diseases can have similar signs and symptoms. The big one in the Northeast is Lyme disease. The black-legged tick or “Deer Tick” is widely distributed in the Hudson Valley and can be responsible for transmitting Lyme disease or other lesser tick related illnesses.

With all tick-borne diseases, you will experience a fever at varying degrees and varying time of onset. In Lyme disease, a rash may appear within three to 30 days after a tick bite. Many times the rash will appear before fever. Other symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches. With Lyme’s disease, you may also experience joint pain.

The good news is, patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. One of the most common signs of a tick bite is a “target” like rash, concentric circles radiating from the point of contact. If you discover this type of rash, see your physician immediately. It is important to initiate antibiotic treatment in the early stages to reduce the chance of developing recurring symptoms. Approximately 10-20% of patients may experience persistent symptoms. In those patients, continued antibiotic treatment may not ameliorate the symptoms, but they should gradually go away over time.

With a healthy dose of tick prevention and a vigilant post-outdoors inspection, you can minimize your chance for tick bites. If you suspect that you may have been bitten, visit us here at Emergency One, our doctors are skilled in diagnosing and identifying tick-borne illnesses. With fee’s that are 1/4 that of the Emergency Room, our urgent care center can get you on your way quicker and cheaper than the hospital for your non life threatening issues.