Ticks and Lyme Disease

Questions are from Dr. McMurtrey’s weekly column, “Ask Dr. Kim”, in the Elizabethton Star newspaper.

From Bob H. in Roan Mountain, TN: Question: I was hunting last weekend and when I got up the next morning to shower, I noticed a tick up under my arm and it had a small red circle around it. I pulled it out, but the spot is still red. Should I see a doctor?

Answer: Absolutely! I cannot express this enough to my patients. Each and every time you find a tick embedded in your skin, you should see your doctor as soon as possible for specific antibiotic treatment to prevent Lyme Disease. It is important not to wait, as your risk of contracting Lyme Disease increases with time. This is especially important for children as well. Lyme Disease is a progressive debilitating, sometimes deadly disease. Symptoms may progress to include a rash, joint pain, fever, headaches, paralysis, or neurological disease.