Is Tick-Borne Diseases Contagious?

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These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Sharing from Barbara Waters: "I pulled a tick off and started having flu symptons [symptoms] and strep about a week later, I waited another week to go to the doctor and still had same symptons [symptoms]. I did not have the flu or strep and when I told him about the bite he said I probably had tick bite fever. There is still a red spot where I got bit 3 weeks ago but since it is not a bullseye it was not lymes disease. He gave me Doxycyline 100 mg and I have been taking it 6 days, same symptons and no better. He said take the medicine 10 days and if still sick go back to the doctor. Am I contagious? I have young grandbabies and hate not being around them."   In fact, tick-borne diseases are considered contagious. However, they are not able to transmitte from person to person. The only way they are transmitted is by an infectious agent, like an infected tick. In the case of Barbara Waters, the infection from tick bites is not contagious. Even the lyme disease is not contagious as well. It is not able to pass from one person to another healthy person by kissing, touching, hugging, or through air, food, water. Ticks usually can carry bacteria, viruses, or parasites and spread illnesses. Most bites don't lead to disease. However, if you've been bitten, you should keep an eye out for certain symptoms just in case. What to do after getting tick bites:
  • Remove the tick with tweezers if it's attached to your skin.
  • Clean the bite area with warm water and gentle soap after washing your hands. Then make sure to apply some alcohol to the wound to prevent infection.
  • Go to see your doctor as soon as possible if you develop flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches, or a rash within one month after the bite or you find a sign of infection such as redness, warmth, inflammation, or a "bullseye" rash within one month.
You doctor might prescribe antibiotics for you if you have symptoms of any tick-borne diseases. Make sure to take the full prescription of antibiotics even if you feel better since the infection could still be in your system. You want to make sure you kill all the bacteria on the first try. We are sincerely grateful for Barbara Waters' sharing story! We hope all the questions you raised and stories you shared could make a difference to those who are suffering from it.  All your kind sharing or questioning is welcomed.  Once again, HTQ is always available as long as you need us.