Be Safe in the Wilderness

Ticks are definitely out and about here in Vermont…..

Take precautions to prevent tick bites in the first place- appropriate clothing, do tick-check after you’ve been outside.

If you do happen to find an attached tick:

Removal: the best method is using an “O’Tom tick-twister” (available online or at stores)

You can “Watch and Wait” to see if a rash and/or symptoms-illness develops.

Another option is to reduce your risk of getting Lyme Disease/tick-infection from the bite-  in certain situations-  by taking a “Prevention dose” of antibiotic.

There are certain conditions that make this more likely to benefit you:

  1. The shorter time tick has been attached, the less likely Lyme/tick infection occurs. If you know the tick was attached for less than 24 hours (certainly <12hrs) – it is quite unlikely (but not impossible) that infection has occurred from that bite. In this case- watching and waiting to see if you get a rash and/or symptoms may be best.
  2. If you don’t know how long it was attached, or feel it was more than a day or two- then a “prevention dose” is an option.
  3. If “prevention dose” of antibiotic is to be given, to be effective- it should be taken as soon as possible after the tick is removed- same day (best), or the next is most effective. If it was over 72 hours (3 days) since the tick was removed- it’s too late for the “prevention dose”, and you have to “watch and wait”.

For more information, call your Health Care Provider here at Mountain Health Center. Better to air on the safe side!!

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