Tick bites are common and usually harmless, but occasionally may cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme disease. It usually takes about 24 hours of tick attachment to a "host" for disease to be transmitted.

The symptoms can begin as early as a few days after a bite or can take as long as two weeks before appearing.

Symptoms include:

  • headache
  • chills
  • fever
  • rash - much like the flu.

If bitten:

  • carefully remove the tick using blunt tweezers. Grasp the tick close to the skin and pull upward with a steady pressure. Do not "jerk" the tick out. Check to see that the entire tick has been removed.
  • Clean the bite area with warm, soapy water. You can also apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment.
  • Mark the date of the bite on a calendar, and if symptoms develop, contact your doctor immediately.

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about a tick bite or for more information.