Beware of the vampires! No, not that kind. These are hard to see and can give you Lyme disease. Ticks, especially the tiny nymphs, can attach to any part of the body. They generally need 36-48 hours to feed on your blood and can leave you with a parting gift ─ a red, expanding, rash! The rash won't hurt or itch but it can come with fatigue, chills, fever, and body aches. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. If you've been bitten by a tick, or have been in areas where ticks are common, and have an unexplained fever or rash, see your health care provider.
- Symptoms of Lyme disease begin 3-30 days after a tick bite; average 7 days.
- Of people who get Lyme disease, 70 to 80% develop a rash, called an erythema migrans.
- The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can sometimes cause other diseases, too.
- Only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
- Check daily for ticks.
- Take a shower soon after coming in from outdoors.
- Carefully examine gear, pets, coats, and day packs. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
- Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash.
- Page last reviewed: May 3, 2017
- Page last updated: May 3, 2017
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