The pathogens inside ticks can introduce us to diseases that could last a lifetime. But early treatment usually prevents chronic illness. So, what if a tick bite itself caused symptoms that could serve as our earliest warning? For some people—including me—it does.
My first clue I’d be bitten by a tick appeared the day after I went hiking in October 2015. Unfortunately, I wasn’t equipped to recognize the warning. Instead, I thought my nausea and vomiting stemmed from a stomach bug. Lack of knowledge led to years of battling long-term illnesses.
But I believe that everything works for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. One good thing that has already come out of that ignorance is my newfound passion and ability to help you.
Possible Tick Bite Signs & Symptoms
So, what are the signs and symptoms of a tick bite?
At the bite site, you may notice a sore, welt, hard bump, itchy lesion, or red area up to one or two inches.
If you’re allergic, you could develop a rash, blisters, or even a burning sensation. A more serious allergic reaction to the tick bite could cause difficulty breathing.
But besides allergic reactions and bite site markers, what symptoms might you notice?
According to Harvard Medical School, “some people may develop fever, headache, nausea and a general sick feeling caused by tick secretions. These symptoms usually go away within 24 to 36 hours after the tick is removed.”
Unfortunately, Harvard also says, “In general, the tick bite itself does not cause symptoms.”
So, what if you, your spouse, and your children don’t get symptoms from the tick bite itself? What can you do to catch the tick-borne diseases as early as possible?
Three Important Steps
First, after hiking, yard work, or playing in the woods, check each other for ticks. Be sure to inspect their favorite spots like the groin, scalp, armpits, and behind the ears.
Generally, the earliest symptoms appear between three days and four weeks after the bite. With babesiosis, it can take up to three months.