Tick Bite Fever


Being bitten by ticks usually occurs during outdoor activities in rural or wilderness areas i.e. when you are out camping, hiking in long grass etc. When the tick bites a human, the bacterium is transmitted in the saliva. Alternatively, if the tick is crushed on your skin, the rickettsias may be able to enter through a small abrasion.

Avoid rural or wilderness areas where ticks are likely to occur is one way to achieve this, but not a great solution if you enjoy hiking and camping. Other measures are generally common-sense, such as wearing insect repellents and long trousers and sleeves.

The period between being infected and displaying symptoms is about five to seven days. Your age and underlying health may also influence the severity of the infection. Typical features may include the presence of a black mark where the bite occurred, and fever, severe headache and a rash. It may look something like a spider bite.

Iif you are in any doubt and you are feeling unwell, it would be best to consult your doctor. Some people may get better on their own without specific treatment. This can take up to two weeks however, and treatment with an antibiotic can shorten the duration of symptoms and reduce the chance of a serious side- effect. In severe cases, antibiotic therapy is more important, and can be life saving.

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