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What's Going Around: Tick Bites/Related Illnesses

August 13, 2012

If you're planning to spend some time outdoors under the sun, doctors say you should remember more than just your sunblock. In this week's What's Going around doctors are still warning people about ticks and related illnesses this summer.

We're checking in with Dr. William Murray of Forest Lakes Family Medicine.

Dr. Murray tells us there can be many symptoms. If you have a tick bite, you may notice a red rash, fever, chills, fatigue headache, joint and muscle aches as well as muscle weakness. Often there are no symptoms.

You're more likely to get a tick related illness or bite if you're out in fields or woods.

Most tick bites do not require treatment, but Dr. Murray tells us Lyme disease can be a concern.
It's a disease spread only by deer ticks. If folks get this tick related illness, they may notice a bull’s eye or solid red rash with flu-like symptoms that last one to two weeks.

When it comes to treatment, Murray suggests removing the tick and cleaning the bite site with soap and water .If Lyme disease is diagnosed, 14-21 days of oral antibiotics may be prescribed.

Dr. Murray says there are a few options for preventing tick bites. He recommends wearing light colored clothing, long pants and shirts with long sleeves as well as insect repellant with DEET if you're going out doors.

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