How soon should you see a doctor after a tick bite?

 

If you have a tick bite and are not sure on whether you need to see a doctor, we recommend reading this article to understand your situation better.

Each individual reacts differently to tick bites, and some symptoms may only appear days or weeks after the tick bite. As a general precaution, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after a tick bite.

If you are unable to identify what kind of tick was responsible for biting you or how long the tick has been attached to your body for, it is recommended to go to the doctors as soon as you are aware of the tick bite.

Allergic reaction

Tick bites can trigger allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock as well as the passing of other contracted diseases that may be dangerous or even fatal.

Further, allergic reactions should also be taken into consideration due to individual reactions including swelling of the throat which may lead to difficulties in breathing or even collapse.

It is important to immediately seek medical attention where symptoms of an allergic reaction occur. In cases where you have experienced a previous tick bite that caused a reaction, it is always a good idea to be prepared for the future by having useful equipment at hand.

Tick paralysis

Tick paralysis in humans is rare in Australia and caused by the paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus). It is responsible for over 95% of bites on humans in the eastern states of Australia. Paralysis ticks are not known to be found in WA, SA or the NT.

Early symptoms of tick paralysis may include:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Photophobia
  • Weak limbs
  • Partial facial paralysis

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

Tick-borne disease

There have been serious cases of tick-borne diseases occurring in Australia such as the Flinders Island spotted fever in Tasmania and the Queensland tick typhus.

Other serious illnesses passed on by ticks include lyme disease, although there is little evidence that it occurs in Australia

How to remove a tick from a person

It is highly recommended to remove the tick as quickly as possible but with care and precision. The priority during the removal process is to avoid any tick remnants left in your body, such as its teeth.

  • Grasp the tick with a fine-tipped tweezer as close to the surface of the skin as possible
  • Steadily pull the tweezers upward avoiding any breakage of the tick’s mouth parts
  • Do note that the longer the tick has been attached to your body, the higher the risk of any transmission of diseases

If you are concerned about a tick bite, are having trouble removing the tick or are unsure if you have removed it fully, see a doctor.

Next steps

HealthEngine can help you find and book an appointment with your regular GP or another experienced professional at a practice near you.

Links

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine always recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.

 

A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next GP appointment. Click on the following locations to find a GP clinic in your state or territory.

 

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.