If you have been bitten by a tick, there are certain recommendations to reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease. While tick bites are becoming more common, if acted on as below, the risk of Lyme disease is very low. If you find a tick on your skin, we recommend the following:
First of all, do not panic. Having a tick bite does not mean you will develop Lyme disease.
Remove the tick as soon as possible in the recommended manner using tweezers or a tick key. See link below on instructions for tick removal.
Once you have removed the tick, a small black area may remain in the skin (head or stinger). These parts do not need to be removed. As long as the abdomen is removed, the Lyme bacteria will not be transmitted. Your body will expel the rest like a splinter.
NOTE! A medical appointment is not always needed as only certain tick bites require preventive antibiotics. If the tick has been removed within 24 hours and is not engorged with blood, preventive antibiotics are not needed.
If you believe the tick has been attached to you for 24 hours or more, or you are unsure how long the tick has been attached to you, please call us to be assessed by a triage nurse.
Please review Ottawa Public Health's recommendations which include strategies to help minimize exposure to ticks, instructions for tick removal, and signs and symptoms to bring to our attention.