tick exposure

13 Jun

when to give prophylaxis for tick-born illness after exposure

The Infectious Disease Society of America recommends that routine antimicrobial prophylaxis not be given.

A single dose of doxycycline may be offered to adults or children >8 years old if ALL the following criteria are met:

1.       The attached tick can be identified as the I. scapularis

2.      The tick has been attached for at least 36 hours.

3.      Prophylaxis can be started within 72 hours of the tick being removed.

4.      Local infection rate is >20%

5.      Doxycycline is not contraindicated.

the proper way to remove a tick

The CDC recommends:

  • use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible,
  • pull upward with steady/even pressure while avoiding twisting/jerking movements,
  • then clean the skin area
  • if the mouth does not come out, leave it in the skin and let it heal.

Submitted by W. Brooks.

Reference(s): CDC website, Infectious Disease Society of America website, picture

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