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Ticks and Lyme Disease: What to Do if a Tick Bites You

by Sollis Health

As you enjoy your time on the beach or local hiking trails, it’s essential to keep your health in mind. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, turning day trips and long weekends into visits to urgent care. Learn what to do when a tick bites you away from home and how concierge medicine with Sollis Health can make your care fast, convenient and comfortable.

Ticks and Lyme Disease

You enjoy spending time outside, whether you live somewhere with hiking trails or vacation in places like the Hamptons. While outdoor activities can be fun, ticks are active outside for a majority of the year. Lyme disease is one of the more severe tick-borne illnesses caused by infected deer ticks. This disease can affect people of any age. Your exposure risk increases when you spend time in grassy or wooded areas, and ticks can be around any time when temperatures are above freezing. Tick season ranges from March to November.

While not all ticks can carry Lyme disease bacteria, the risk is present in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and along the Northwest coast. In 2019, the United States had 23,453 confirmed Lyme disease cases and 11,492 probable cases. Areas like the Hamptons and Upstate NY are common areas for ticks, with numbers rising every year.

These numbers may seem immense, but the prevalence of ticks doesn’t have to put an end to your favorite outdoor activities. Staying aware of the risks and knowing how to respond can keep you safe and healthy while you’re enjoying the outdoors. 

When you’re spending time outside, there are several steps you can take to reduce tick bites. Performing regular tick checks can help reduce the chance that ticks latch on. Whether you take a scenic hike or relax outside, perform tick checks during your time outdoors and afterward. Check exposed skin and clothing, and run your fingers over your scalp to find any ticks that may be hiding in your hair. Ticks spend a lot of time in vegetation, so staying on clear, well-traveled trails can help you reduce your risk. You can also use a specialized tick repellant that can significantly reduce your chances of a tick encounter outdoors. 

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Lyme disease symptoms can appear anywhere from three to 30 days following infection. In most cases, the first sign of Lyme disease is a red rash at the tick bite site that resembles a bulls-eye. This rash can last for several weeks and may feel itchy or hot. In some cases, the rash may disappear and return. It may also mimic other skin problems like eczema, poison ivy, sunburn, and hives.

As the infection progresses, you may also experience:

  • Headaches
  • Low-grade fever and chills
  • Stiff neck
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Poor appetite
  • Swollen glands
  • Tingling or numbness in arms and legs
  • Facial paralysis
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances

What to Do if You Experience Lyme Disease Symptoms

If you notice early signs of Lyme disease, receiving treatment right away improves your chances of curing the illness. See a medical professional if you start experiencing the above symptoms and you’ve spent time in areas with a high tick population. 

The characteristic rash is an immediate indicator of Lyme disease. If you don’t have this rash, a doctor may perform a series of lab tests to detect the bacteria. Medical professionals may rely on antibiotics to treat the bacteria, prevent worsening of the disease and reduce symptoms. Antibiotic treatment may be oral or intravenous, depending on the severity.

Doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime are common oral antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment. Doxycycline may require 10 to 21 days of doses, while amoxicillin and cefuroxime usually require 14 to 21 days. More severe cases of Lyme disease with meningitis manifestations or heart block may require intravenous antibiotics. Patients can receive these treatments in an office or at home. 

How Sollis can help with ticks and lyme disease

How Sollis Can Help

When there are signs of tick bites or Lyme disease, traditional healthcare may not give you the immediate help you need. At Sollis Health, we understand how essential immediacy is. With our concierge medical services, we’re there when you least expect it but need it most — even when you’re vacationing in the Hamptons. We often see tick bite cases in our Hamptons clinic throughout the summer.

We’ve expanded our Water Mill location to add more exam rooms and imaging equipment on-site so that you can be seen immediately and get a diagnosis even faster. Whether you have an ear infection, a tick bite or just need an IV infusion, our emergency-trained physicians can help. We can also perform EKGs and lab draws, including tests for strep, mono and COVID-19 (unlimited PCR, antibody and rapid antigen tests with results in 30 minutes). You also get our full suite of concierge services, including private medical transfers to get you back to New York City in the event of an emergency.

Our concierge medical services are there for everyday health questions to care emergencies. We can provide tick removal, Lyme disease treatment, emergency care following a tick bite and much more. We’re available 24/7. Whatever your concern may be, the Sollis team is here — anytime, anywhere. 

Our treatment may include an at-home observation, a one-time dose of antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease prevention or a two- to three-week course of antibiotics.

Lyme disease blood test results indicate a positive after about 28 days after the initial exposure. If you come to us with no symptoms following your bite, we’ll request a blood test four weeks from your visit. We may recommend earlier testing if you show symptoms. You may still have positive blood test results months to years after successful treatment.

Every case of Lyme disease is different, but it’s in your best interest to contact a provider as soon as you recognize a bite or symptoms. 

Becoming a member with Sollis Health offers more than tick treatment. When you become a Sollis member, you gain access to:

  • Our flagship centers: Through our flagship centers, we can provide a range of services at any time, day or night. Our medical professionals are trained to handle 90% of what an emergency room treats. We also have access to advanced imaging equipment, including MRI, CT, ultrasound and X-ray machines, should you need these services on-site.
  • Virtual visits: Don’t search the web for a diagnosis — contact the professionals. Our in-center providers can video chat with you to discuss your concerns and determine a course of action for treatment if necessary.
  • Care navigation: The Sollis team can provide treatment at our locations, and we also advocate for you beyond our facilities. We handle the appointments and administrative hassle, so you can get the care you need right away. Our care coordination also includes global travel care. Wherever you go, Sollis is by your side.
  • Specialist access: Sollis Health has connections to over 500 specialists so you can see the professionals that can serve you best.

Visit Sollis Health in the Hamptons

Concierge medicine with Sollis Health helps you get the care you need, even when you find ticks in the Hamptons. Our services allow you to sidestep wait times and appointments, so you can receive immediate care for tick bites and other care needs. Learn more about Sollis Health membership and get access to care 24/7, 365. 

Sollis Health is a 24/7 doctor, private ER and concierge service rolled into one. Whether it’s an emergency or simply to diagnose the symptoms that you typically Google in the middle of the night, our emergency-trained doctors are ready for anything. Interested in becoming a Sollis member?

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