You can decrease your chances of contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever by taking some simple precautions:
Sept. 25, 2014
- Wear long pants and sleeves. When walking in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes, long pants tucked into socks and long-sleeved shirts. Try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass.
- Use insect repellents. Products containing DEET (Off! Deep Woods, Repel) often repel ticks. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Clothing that has permethrin impregnated into the fabric is toxic to ticks and also may be helpful in decreasing tick contact when outdoors.
- Do your best to tick-proof your yard. Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Keep woodpiles in sunny areas.
- Check yourself and your pets for ticks. Do this after being in wooded or grassy areas. Some ticks are no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you are very careful.
Remove a tick with tweezers. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don't squeeze or crush the tick, but pull carefully and steadily. Once you have the entire tick removed, apply antiseptic to the bite area.
Though there are many purportedly effective methods for helping to remove a tick, such as petroleum jelly, alcohol or even applying a hot match to the tick's body, none is a good method for tick removal.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/symptoms/index.html. Accessed July 6, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 5, 2014.
- Sexton DJ. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 5, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookId=330. Accessed June 28, 2014.
- Pujalte GGA. Tick-borne infections in the United States. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2013;40:619.
- Preventing ticks in the yard. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/in_the_yard.html. Accessed July 8, 2014.
- Preventing tick bites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html. Accessed July 6, 2014.