Ticks (cont.)

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What is the prognosis (outlook) for people who get a tick bite?

The great majority of people who get tick bites have no problems during or after the bite. For people with suppressed immune systems (HIV, cancer, chemotherapy patients), the prognosis is still good, but they should contact their physicians and inform them about a tick bite. Also, the faster the tick is removed after a bite, the less likely the tick will transmit pathogens.

The overall prognosis for an individual person changes if the tick transmits a pathogen. The prognosis can range from good to poor and is determined by the disease transmitted, the stage of the disease, and the condition of the patient. Immune-suppressed patients usually have a worse prognosis than otherwise healthy people. Consultation with an infectious disease specialist is one of the best ways to determine the prognosis for the many diseases that ticks can transmit to people.

What are the risk factors for tick bites?

People who go through grassy areas and woods are at higher risk for tick bites, especially during the months from April through September. People who travel through such areas out of necessity or for recreation are at higher risk than those that protect themselves with appropriate clothing and DEET-containing repellants (see prevention section below). In addition, people who have pets treated with flea and tick repellants decrease their risk of tick bites. People who live in areas surrounded by tall grassy areas or woods have a higher risk for tick bites, but the prevention section below describes ways to reduce risks.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/25/2012

Patient Comments

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Ticks - Bite Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms associated with a tick bite?
Ticks - Diagnosis Question: What types of tests or exams led to a diagnosis of a tick-related infection in you or someone you know?
Ticks - Removal Question: Do you know the correct way to remove a tick? Please share your experience.
Ticks - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment did you use or receive to treat a tick bite or tick-caused infection?
Ticks - Prevention Question: If you live in a tick-prone region, how do you prevent bites?

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