2-15. IDENTIFY TICK BITES
Ticks are common in woods and fields throughout the US. They attach themselves
to an animal in order to obtain blood from the animal. Ticks are also carriers of diseases,
such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
a. Physical Characteristics of Ticks. Ticks are divided into two groups--hard
ticks and soft ticks. The hard tick has a hard shield on its back and its mouthpart can be
seen from above. The soft tick does not have a hard shield and its mouthparts cannot
be seen from above. Ticks often have a leather-like appearance and embed
themselves into the casualty's skin. Ticks are also further categorized by their region
and the common animals that they affect as shown in figure 2-7.
b. Common Tick Diseases.
(1) Deer ticks transmit Lyme disease. Tick parasites also transmit a group
of diseases generally called babesiosis.
(2) The Lone Star tick transmits ehrlichiosis (an immune disease) and a
condition known as STARI, which mimics Lyme disease.
(3) The American dog tick transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever and
tularemia, but not Lyme disease.
c. Signs and Symptoms of a Tick Bite.
Itching at the bite site.
Redness at the bite site.
Pain in the legs.
(5) Paralysis (may occur several days after the bite as a result of certain
diseases which can be transmitted by ticks).