How Serious are Deer Tick Bites?
Deer ticks should be considered dangerous to humans and pets because they transmit Lyme disease. Deer ticks feed only two to three times during their lives, once when they molt from the larval to the nymph stage, once from nymph to adult and once more, if female, to lay their eggs. While deer ticks can contract the Lyme disease bacteria from an infected host at any of these feedings, they can only transmit the disease after contracting it, or during the second and/or third feeding.
In order for deer ticks to transmit Lyme disease, they must stay attached to their hosts for a 24-hour period. Lyme disease can be debilitating but rarely fatal. Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as the flu because the initial stages of Lyme disease resemble the flu, with body aches and pains, fever, headaches and fatigue. Lyme disease is also sometimes accompanied by a bull’s-eye-shaped rash that slowly spreads from the tick bite site, but not always. Victims should seek immediate medical attention if a tick bite is suspected.
Lyme disease can be treated and managed with antibiotics but, if left untreated, victims can develop any number of health issues including severe headaches, neurological disorders, heart palpitations, arthritis and chronic fatigue issues.