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Injury Prevention and Safety

Tic bite

05/18/2007

Question:

Hello my son got bitten by a tic about a week and a half ago. There is no rash or anything where he got bitten but it was on his head. But now He has a fever and hiss chest hurts.I do not know if this is from the tic,i dont think so but do you have any information? Do i need to take him to a convinent center? please answer!

Answer:

If your son has a fever and chest pain, I strongly recommend that you take him to a doctor ASAP. He may well have pneumonia, which may or may not be caused by the tic bite, but which does require treatment in any case. It is very important that you mention the tic bite so that the best antibiotic to cover for tic bourne disease is selected.

Actually the scalp is very rich in blood supply, so from a tic's point of view, it is a great feeding location. Whether or not a tic causes disease depends on what type of tic it is and how long it is attached. The longer a tic is attached, the more likely it is that disease transmission has occurred.

In the case of Lyme disease, a tell tale large, round lesion, called a herald patch, may occur anywhere on the body as a sign that disease transmission has occurred. As long as the child receives early treatment for illness, the disease can be effectively treated and the chance for any long term problems eliminated.

So, by all means, take him to a pediatric doctor ASAP. I hope he is well soon.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University