tickAnaplasmosis is a disease caused by infection of the bacterium, Anaplasma phagocytophilum. In the eastern United States, the disease is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. This is the same tick that can transmit Lyme disease. Anaplasmosis is also known as human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) and can be similar to another tick-borne disease, ehrlichiosis. However, these are distinct diseases that are transmitted by different ticks.

How to Safely Remove a Tick

Try to remove the tick as soon as you discover it because prompt removal can prevent transmission of tick-borne diseases.

1. Use fine-tipped tweezers and firmly grasp the tick close to the skin. Avoid touching the tick with your bare hands

2. With a steady motion, pull straight up until all parts of the tick are removed.  Do not twist or jerk the tick. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once the mouthparts are removed from the rest of the tick, it can no longer transmit disease-causing bacteria.

image of tick removal with tweezers

image of tick removal

DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove a tick. These methods are neffective.

Thoroughly wash your hands and the bite area

After removing the tick, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Clean the tick bite with soap and water or use an antiseptic such as iodine scrub or rubbing alcohol.

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