Page 8 - Harnett Life Summer 2019
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toms. If you have been bitten by a tick and develop the   The rash seen with Rocky Mountain spotted fever varies
                                                                                                                                    symptoms below within a few weeks, a health care pro-  greatly from person to person in appearance, location and
                                                                                                                                    vider should evaluate the following before deciding on a   time of onset. About 10% of people with RMSF never de-
                                                                                                                                    course of treatment: your symptoms, the geographic re-  velop a rash. Most often the rash begins 2 to 5 days after
                                                                                                                                    gion in which you were bitten and diagnostic tests.    the onset of fever as small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots on the
                                                                                                                                                                                           wrists, forearms and ankles and can spread to the trunk. It
                                                                                                                                    The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses are   sometimes appears on the palms and soles. The red to pur-
                                                                                                                                    fever and chills. With all tickborne diseases patients can   ple, spotted rash of RMSF is usually not seen until the 6th
                                                                                                                                    experience  fever  at  varying  degrees  and  time  of  onset.   day or later after the onset of symptoms.
                                                                                                                                    Symptoms also include aches and pains, headache, fatigue
                                                                                                                                    along with muscle aches. With Lyme disease you may ex-  Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable
                                                                                                                                    perience joint pain. The severity and time of onset of these   at home to severe infections requiring hospitalization. Al-
                                                                                                                                    symptoms can depend on the disease and the patient’s per-  though easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases can
                                                                                                                                    sonal tolerance level.                                 be difficult for physicians to diagnose. If you have flu like
                                                                                                                                                                                           symptoms make sure to tell your health provider that you
                                                                                                                                    You may also notice a rash which can appear within 3 to   had a tick bite. However, early recognition and treatment
                                                                                                                                    30 days, typically before the onset of fever. The Lyme dis-  of the infection decreases the risk of serious complications.
                                                                                                                                    ease rash is the first sign of infection and is usually a cir-  So, see your doctor immediately if you have been bitten by
                                                                                                                                    cular rash. This rash occurs in approximately 70-80% of   a tick and experience any of the symptoms described here.
                                                                                                                                    infected people and begins at the site of a tick bit. It may
                                                                                                                                    be warm but is not usually painful.

                                          Tick Season:                                                                                             Pictured right:

         An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a                                                                                                         Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever rash

                                        Pound of Cure

        (SPM  Wire) Summer is  here, and nature beckons.  The   • Treat clothing and gear with products containing perme-
        benefits of spending time outside -- from an increase in vi-  thrin, and your body with EPA-registered insect repellent.
        tamin D levels to the healing powers of nature -- are com-
        mon knowledge, and outdoor activities are widely encour-  • Cover up if you will be spending time in bushy or wooded
        aged by various health organizations. But while you’re out   areas or wandering through fields of tall grass. Wear long
        and about enjoying fresh air, don’t forget to take precau-  sleeves and tuck your long pants into your socks -- while
        tions against the possibility of being bitten by a tick.  this look would be frowned upon by the fashion-conscious,
                                                              it may, literally, save your life!
        Ticks are tiny arthropods that live by feeding on the blood
        of other animals and people. They often transmit a vari-  • Once home, check your clothes and body for ticks, and                                                                            Pictured left:
        ety of complicated infections that, if untreated, can lead   don’t forget some of the not-so-obvious places, like your                                                                       Lyme disease rash
        to dire consequences. But you don’t have to let these tiny   scalp, belly button and underarms.
        creatures get in the way of your enjoyment of nature. Just
        make sure to follow few simple rules before and after your   Tickborne Diseases
        outing:                                               Many tickborne diseases can have similar signs and symp-

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