What should you do if you are bitten by a tick?

Ticks are one of the most common bugs that affect animals and humans alike during the spring and summer months. Some people don’t even realize they have a tick on them until it is too late and they are either bitten or become ill, KTLA sister station WHTM reports.

So if you are bitten by a tick, what should you do?

The first thing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says is if the tick is still on you, you are to use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull up with “steady even pressure,” making sure not to twist the tick or tweezers.

After the tick is removed, clean the bite with rubbing alcohol or soapy water. Then, flush the tick down the toilet. The CDC says that you can also place the tick in rubbing alcohol and place it in a sealed bag if you’d like to show it to your healthcare provider.

The CDC says that although some companies will test the tick for specific germs, they do not recommend this due to the following reasons, which have been quoted from the CDC:

  • Laboratories that conduct tick testing are not required to have the high standards of quality control used by clinical diagnostic laboratories. Results of tick testing should not be used for treatment decisions.
  • Positive results showing that the tick contains a disease-causing organism do not necessarily mean that you have been infected.
  • Negative results can lead to false assurance. You may have been unknowingly bitten by a different tick that was infected.

The CDC says that if you have been infected, you probably will develop symptoms even before the results of the tick test are available. If you become ill, it is advised not to wait for the results of the tick test to come back and see your doctor.

More information about keeping safe from ticks can be found here.

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