- Dr. Hicks
Is it possible to contract Lyme Disease from a tick in Nevada County?
Ticks love the climate in Northern California as much as we do. The only kind of tick found locally that can carry Lyme disease is the Western black legged tick (a.k.a. Ioxedes pacificus, or deer tick). While only 48 cases of Lyme disease have been officially reported to the Nevada County Department of Health over a sixteen-year period, some 300,000 cases have been reported to health departments nationwide. Due to misdiagnosis and under-reporting, many researchers believe the number is as much as ten times higher. Lyme Disease can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms can mimic a number of other diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia, ALS, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and psychiatric disorders, among others.
If you do find a tick attached to you, remove it with very fine pointed tweezers, grasping the head as close to your skin as possible and gently pulling it straight out in a firm, steady motion. Don’t grab it by the body, as you can squeeze germs out of the tick and into you. If you do get a deer tick bite, consider consulting with your doctor or visit your local accredited urgent care clinic because of the possibility of contracting Lyme disease. In some cases, an antibiotic to prevent Lyme disease may be indicated.
Should you develop a rash or any other symptoms after a tick bite, see your physician or urgent care provider. Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics, and the earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the better.