Bitten by a tick? Always do this 1 thing, experts say -
May 13, 2022 1 min, 16 secs

Every spring in Michigan, as ticks wake up from their winter dormancy around the same time many humans seem to wake up from theirs, public health experts remind people to brush up on the basics of tick bite prevention and removal.

But saving a tick that bites you can give you and your health care providers the opportunity to properly ID the tick, which could help determine the correct course of treatment should you happen to get sick as a result of the tick’s bite.

“The thing is, because different ticks transmit different pathogens, knowing which tick species you have and also which [tick] life stage you have can help narrow down that list,” says Jean Tsao, an associate professor at Michigan State University who researches ticks and tick-borne illness.

Those diseases include Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which result from bacteria that can be carried by the black-legged tick and American dog tick, respectively.

But not all ticks carry diseases, and different pathogens take different amounts of time to fully transmit to a person after a tick bite?

For example, the CDC says Lyme disease risk is low if a black-legged tick has been attached for less than 24 hours, which is why experts recommend checking for ticks daily and removing any attached tick immediately.

If you’d like to know right away what type of tick you have on your hands, there are several tick safety apps, such as The Tick App and Tick Encounter, which can help guide you.

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