logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Don’t Trifle with Tick Fever

Don’t Trifle with Tick Fever
Tick ticks bug bite lyme alphagal alpha gal insect tick bite alpha gal

Q. You have written about ways to remove ticks. My advice to anyone who pulls off a tick is to save it. If you have symptoms, remember to take it to your doctor or the ER.

I forgot to take my saved tick, and the ER doctor refused to consider I might have tick fever. He said mid-March was too early for ticks!

I returned five days later, very ill with multi-organ involvement and remained hospitalized for a week. It took me three months to recuperate.

The follow-up blood test confirmed ehrlichiosis, a tick disease similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which is also spread by the American dog tick. Several days of doxycycline when I first fell ill would have prevented my worsening illness and huge hospital bill.

A. Tick-borne fevers are becoming a major concern in many parts of the US. They include ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, as well as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). Some can cause very serious illness.

It might not have made a difference if you had taken the tick with you, but at least you could have proven to the doctor that you had removed a tick. Headache and fever within days or weeks of tick exposure could be symptoms of tick-borne illness.

Rate this article
5- 3 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Get the latest health news right in your inbox

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

Screenshots of The People's Pharmacy website on mobile devices of various sizes
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.