Around 70 to 75 species of ticks are found in Australia, and ten out of those species are well-known to bite people. They are generally found in eastern Australia’s lush bushland.
When the saliva of a tick get injected into a host body, there are pathogens that gets transferred. This causes serious allergic reactions that ranges from flu-like symptoms up to anaphylaxis, a condition where a person develops an allergy from any kind of mammal meat. Three known illnesses contracted from ticks are found in Australia and known to cause risks: Flinders Island spotted fever, Queensland tick typhus and Q fever.
There are many schools of thought about the safest ways to remove ticks, but there is scientific consensus around these following steps:
First, do not disturb the tick as much as possible.
A spokesperson from the Department of Health who was communicated with by Insight in order to make sure that their website’s information is still up-to-date said that the goal for any tick removal is to lessen the tick’s injection of alimentary tract and mouth contents to the human target.
So, this means that squeezing a tick’s body or pulling it using force should be avoided as these increase the risks of its toxic saliva getting released to the human target.
Consider the implements one has for removal
The Department of Health said that the method of removal linked with infection and allergy has no difference. They recommended to use fine point tweezers similar to those used in surgery or to use forceps and to avoid those household tweezers.
Their site indicated that the tick should be grasped close to skin’s surface as much as possible then to pull upward using a steady pressure and to avoid twisting or jerking the tick.
This should be done only when there are right implements. Otherwise, the tick should be left in place and to seek immediate medical attention from a general practitioner or from a hospital’s emergency department.
Future bite prevention
For anyone who plans to go to any tick-endemic area, it is advised to wear long pants which can be tucked to thick socks, a long sleeved shirt and hat. An Australian insect repellent also helps before entering the area.