May 22, 2017
I have removed five ticks from students in the last two weeks and have heard of more that students found on themselves not attached as yet. The following information is from the web site California Department of public health. https://archive.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR2009-47.aspx
Ticks are found most commonly in naturally vegetated areas like woods and forests. These small insects attach to humans and other animals. Ticks then feed on the blood of their host for several days. In the spring through early summer, smaller immature ticks — roughly the size of a poppy seed — called “nymphs,” are most active.
Ticks may carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and can transmit the bacterium to humans while they feed. Early symptoms of Lyme disease often include a spreading rash accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever and body aches. While Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in California, ticks in California can transmit other human illnesses, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
CDPH recommends the following to avoid ticks and tick-borne diseases:
Wear light colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts when spending time outdoors. Tuck pant legs into boots or socks and tuck shirts into pants.
Apply repellents registered for use against ticks and stay on trails when hiking.
Conduct a tick-check over your entire body, including the hairline, armpits, back of knees and groin, after outdoor activities, including picnicking.
Continue to watch for ticks for up to three days, after returning from tick habitat.
Parents should check their children thoroughly for tick
These tick removal instructions are from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. You may use specialized tick removal tools, if you already have them. The key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. Avoid folklore remedies such as using nail polish, petroleum jelly, or heat to make the tick detach from the skin.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick: this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with clean tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth parts easily, leave them alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.
(I taped the ticks securely down to paper and sent them home for further study or inspection if any further medical care was needed.)
Although less common the back of this letter includes information from the California Department of Public Health on Tick Paralysis.
Thana Webb, RN, PHN, School
This is a letter I sent out at school this year. Use information as desired for Church bulletin, including paralysis fact sheet.