• Tick-Borne Illnesses


    • New Jersey has one of the highest rates of Lyme Disease (tick-borne illnesses).
    • All ticks can transmit Lyme Disease (not necessarily limited to deer ticks).
    • Increased incidence of Lyme Disease is partially attributed to the population explosion in the rural areas.
    • Keep wood and brush away from your house. Stone walls attract small rodents which can also carry ticks. Bird feeders also increase the incidence of ticks.



    Be Tick Aware

    • Avoid pets on furniture and sleeping with kids. Ticks can travel from your furry animal onto the skin of your family.

    • Avoid tick infested areas and sitting directly on the ground. Use EPA approved repellents.

    • Frequent tick checks are probably your best protection from tick-borne illnesses.  Removing ticks before they adhere to the skin, prevents the transmission of infection.

    • Remember to protect (repellent) and check pets too!

    • Teach children to seek adult help for tick removal:

      • Squeezing the body of the tick can actually increase the chance of transmitting infectious material into the person who is bit by the tick.

      • Improper removal can increase the chances of infectious transmission of tick fluids and thus developing Lyme Disease and related tick-borne illnesses. Never put substances on the tick such as soap or other substances.

      • Use a fine point tweezer and grasp tick mouth parts (place of attachment—as close to the skin as possible). Remove the tick with a steady pull away from the skin. Use a steady pressure and gently pull the tick straight out. Never squeeze, twist, or yank the body of a tick. Never put substances or fluids on the tick.

      • Disinfect tweezers.

      • Wash hands thoroughly.

      • If discarding tick, wrap in toilet tissue and flush into toilet.

      • Don’t touch tick with bare hands.

      • Clean area of the tick bite with an antiseptic and apply antibiotic ointment.

      • Contact your doctor.

      • Mark your calendar on the day of the tick removal.

      • Be alert that some reports and researchers state that less than 40% of people develop a rash (bulls-eye) after a tick bite.

      • Many rashes that do develop after exposure to infectious tick bites may not present as the “classical bulls-eye” rash. You may see a solid red rash – possibly 3” diameter or larger, and may be smaller, too. Consult your medical professional as needed.

      • Some people with dark skin may have a “bruise-like” appearance when developing a rash.

    • If you save the tick for testing:

      • Place it in a sealed plastic bag with a moistened (water)cotton ball. If a tick is positive, a course of antibiotics is indicated---see the doctor.

      • Tick testing labs include:
        • IgeneX Labs, Palo Alto, CA (800) 832-3200
        • MDL, Mt. Laurel, NJ (877) 269-0090
        • NJ Labs, New Brunswick, NJ (732) 249-0148

      • Some Lyme literate specialists feel that testing ticks may not always be 100% accurate.

    • New research supports 6 weeks of antibiotic therapy for Lyme Disease. Other tick-borne illnesses may also be transmitted from one tick bite. They include ehrlichiosis, bartonella, and babesiosis. Ask your doctor about these other diseases. They should be assessed and treated promptly.

    • Taking advantage of the “window of opportunity” for treatment of Lyme Disease can mean the difference between wellness and illness and the avoidance of an unknown course of chronic illness.

    • It may be advisable to treat tick bites when there is:
      • a large rash or bulls-eye rash
      • an engorged tick upon removal
      • tick bite in an endemic area with high incidence of lyme and tick-borne illness
      • history of immune-suppressed state of health.

    • If fever or flu-like illness develops within 4 weeks after a known tick bite, consider treatment for Lyme Disease! Flu-like symptoms include fatigue, malaise, achy, fever, headache, swollen glands or joints, and chills.

    • Other tick-borne diseases are Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, and Bartonella. Ask your doctor to check for these other infections that may be transmitted along with Lyme.

    • Log onto www.lymediseaseassociation.org for more information and other websites.



    Above information taken from various Lyme Disease Publications/Pamphlets.