"The good news is that ticks rarely transmit disease within the first six to 12 hours that they are on a person or pet," said Sue Lynn Ledford, Wake County community health director. "If people remember to check themselves, their kids and pets each time they are outdoors, and remove any attached ticks right away, they are much less likely to get sick."
Ticks often crawl to warm, moist places on the body like the neck, behind the ears, under the arms and the groin. If an attached tick is found, use tweezers to remove it right away, pulling it out gently, but firmly. Always wash hands, the wound and the tweezers after removing a tick. Be sure to mark the date of the bite on a calendar.
If flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle pain) or an unexplained rash develop within several weeks of a tick bite, see a medical care provider and tell the provider that a tick bite occurred. Tick-borne illnesses are more difficult to treat the longer they have been in a person’s system. Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important.
Other tick-bite prevention methods:
Bathe or shower after being outside.
Walk on paths, and avoid leaf litter, tall grasses and brushy areas.
Apply insect repellents to family members and pets that spend time outdoors.
When in a tick environment, wear a long-sleeved shirt tucked into long pants. Tuck pants into socks.
Wear light-colored clothing so ticks are easier to see.