Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Tick bites occur when a tick attaches itself to a host and feeds on it. Not all tick bites cause diseases. In fact, a major of tick bites are harmless. However, if a tick is found attached to the skin, it must be removed immediately.
Tick bite symptoms include rash, muscle pain, headache, and swelling. These symptoms can emerge anytime between one day and several weeks following the tick bite, depending upon the infection passed on by the tick.
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the United States, and its symptoms emerge within two to thirty days after a tick bite. Warning signs of the disease include a circular red rash on the bite area, headache, slight fever, muscle or joint pain, and weakness. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is another tick-borne disease. Its symptoms include rash and fever that emerge within three to twelve days after a tick bite. Relapsing fever, as the name suggests, involves intermittent spells of fever. The symptoms of this disease emerge within three to ten days after a tick bite. This disease is characterized by high fever, headache, and joint pain. This lasts for two to three days, followed by days with no fever or related problems. After a few days, however, the fever and other flu-like symptoms reappear. Symptoms of the Colorado Tick Fever appear within three to fourteen days and include flu and rash. Tick paralysis is a severe, though rare, disease caused by tick bite. It generally occurs within a week of the bite due to weakening of muscles.
In animals, tick bites lead to various diseases that are characterized by weakness, swelling, vomiting, fever, and even paralysis.
Tick bites may cause serious diseases in humans and animals. Therefore, people in tick-prone areas must take adequate precautions to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites.