Ticks are small creatures that can spread diseases and make people sick. In Ohio, the most common types of ticks are the American dog tick, the black-legged tick (also known as the deer tick), and the Lone Star tick.
Ticks are a type of arachnid with round bodies and eight legs. They are more closely related to spiders than insects. Ticks are parasites that survive by sucking the blood of animals – mainly mammals and birds. They can pass on diseases when they bite, but not all ticks spread diseases.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a serious illness caused by bacteria.
If you find a tick on you, remove it immediately and watch for symptoms.
RMSF can be serious but can be treated early with doxycycline, an antibiotic.
For more information on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, visit the CDC’s website.
Lyme disease is more frequently reported in the northeastern United States. But, cases of Lyme disease in Ohio have been increasing in the last several years. The symptoms can vary and may look like other illnesses.
Taking antibiotics right away can lower the risk of getting long-lasting symptoms.
If Lyme disease is not treated, more symptoms can appear weeks or months after the bite. Some people may get arthritis in their larger joints; some have severe headaches, stiff necks, facial paralysis, weakness, and chest or limb pain. Chronic cases can have a mix of joint, heart, and nerve symptoms that develop months or even years later.
But it’s important to note where the tick bit you and watch for symptoms.
For more information on Lyme disease, visit the CDC’s website.
Ehrlichiosis symptoms are similar to RMSF symptoms and usually appear within 1 to 21 days after being bitten. Symptoms include
About 20% of Ehrlichiosis cases also have a rash like RMSF.
Ticks can pass on bacteria that cause diseases like RMSF, Lyme disease, and Ehrlichiosis through their saliva while they’re biting. Finding and removing ticks immediately is important to prevent an infection.
For more information on Ehrlichiosis, visit the CDC’s website
If you have a tick on you
Avoid twisting, crushing, or puncturing the tick during removal. Don’t use a hot match or try to burn it. If infected tick fluids come into contact with broken skin, the mouth, or the eyes, you can get sick.
To avoid tick bites:
To control ticks: