Telluride Medical Center: Dr. Grundy On Tick Safety!

The Telluride Regional Medical Center puts out the word: Tick season is upon us. 

Below, Dr. Sharon Grundy talks tick safety.

Go here for lots more on the Telluride Medical Center (dating back to 2009).

I’m not going to name names, but someone I am married to (Tor) found a tick in the last place you’d ever think to look (between his legs), which really got me thinking: Everyone could use a refresher on tick safety.

Best case scenario, of course, is to prevent a tick bite in the first place. The CDC has a whole bag of tricks to “stop the ticks,” which you can read here.

The easiest thing you can do is use insect repellent and avoid wooded brushy areas with high grass — in other words, stay on the trails. Not that your pets will heed that warning!

For your animal companions please be sure to talk to your vet about the best tick prevention products.

Be sure to also scan your body (all 2000 parts), your clothes and your pets after time spent outside.

And, if you do find yourself with a tick, don’t panic.

Colorado does not have endemic Lyme. We have other tick borne illnesses, but not Lyme.

The most common tick to watch for in Colorado is the Rocky Mountain wood tick, which is most active and does most biting in the spring. It becomes dormant with warm weather in the summer.

Colorado tick fever is by far the most common tick transmitted disease of the region, but we rarely see patients with infection.

If you want to go full tick nerd, check out Colorado State University’s deep dive on all things tick, it’s the best Colorado tick resource I’ve found.

How to remove a tick:
(courtesy of the CDC)

1. Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure.

3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

4. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

When to call the Medical Center:

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your provider. Be prepared to:

Tell your provider about your recent tick bite,

when the bite occurred, and

where you most likely acquired the tick.

We live here because we love the outdoors. Let’s make sure we can enjoy nature safely this summer by taking a few simple safety steps.

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