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Tick removal

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Since its getting warmer and we are getting outside more, I thought this might help some people. Ticks are no joke and cause some serious problems. Be careful, use Deet and make sure you check yourself when you get inside. The following was taken from a website dedicated to Lyme disease – written by doctors. Hope this helps.

The type of tweezers used to remove a tick is crucial to avoiding stressing, damaging or squeezing the tick, which is more likely to cause back-flow of infective fluids.

Blunt tweezers are often used to pluck eyebrows. These tweezers are too broad and are more likely to squeeze the body of the tick.

Fine-tipped tweezers (sometimes called precision tweezers) are fine enough to get close to the tick’s mouth parts without coming in to contact with the body of the tick, which avoids compressing it.

Fine-tipped / precision tweezers are usually available from high-street chemists.

Precision tweezers

Blunt tweezers

Ideally, wear rubber / plastic gloves or, in the absence of gloves, shield fingers with tissue or paper.

1) Grasp the tick as close to the host’s skin as possible and pull upwards with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick as this may leave the mouth parts embedded, or cause the tick to regurgitate infective fluids. Remove any embedded mouth parts with tweezers or a sterilised needle.

2) Do not squeeze or crush the body of the tick, because its fluids (saliva and gut contents) may contain infective organisms.

3) Do not handle the tick with bare hands, because infective agents may enter through breaks in the skin, or through mucous membranes (if you touch eyes, nostrils or mouth).

4) After removing the tick, disinfect the bite site and wash hands with soap and water.

5) Save the tick for identification in case you become ill within several weeks. Write the date of the bite in pencil on a piece of paper and put it with the tick in a sealed plastic bag and store it in a freezer. Your doctor can use the information to assist in making an accurate diagnosis. Although not every tick carries Borreliosis or any of the associated co-infections, immediate removal of an attached tick is recommended.

DO NOT use petroleum jelly, any liquid solutions, or freeze / burn the tick, as this will stimulate it to regurgitate its stomach contents, increasing the chance of disease.

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