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What should one do in case of a tick bite?

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Ixodes ricinus is the commonest tick species in Europe, and transmits
Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, rickettsiosis, and babesiosis. The risk of Borrelia burgdorferi infection increases with the time of tick engorgement, but not every infection necessarily causes erythema migrans or
Lyme borreliosis. Therefore, the finding of B. burgdorferi DNA in a tick does not prove that the patient will subsequently develop
Lyme borreliosis. Ticks should be removed as early as possible with fine tweezers, taking the tick’s head with the forceps. Antibiotic prophylactic therapy after a tick bite is not generally recommended. Tick bites can potentially be prevented by covering the body as much as possible or by applying repellents to the body and permethrin to clothes. Tick bite areas should be inspected for 1 month.
Lyme borreliosis should be suspected when an erythema at the tick bite site or a febrile illness develop.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Curr Probl Dermatol. 2009;37:155-66. doi: 10.1159/000213073. Epub 2009 Apr 8.

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