Docents, just a quick reminder about ticks in the park. They are there and they are hungry. Please, please remember to give yourself a quick tick-check after you leave the park. I managed to pick up a tick this last week during a seal count and I have heard of a park employee that picked up a tick in the vicinity of Drakes Beach. If you do find a tick that has embedded, here is what you should do:
- Remove the tick as soon as is possible, using tweezers that have a needle nose. You should grasp the tick as close to the skin as is possible and pull straight out with a steady and firm motion. Do not jerk and do not twist as you remove the critter. Please note that twisting and burning the tick or squeezing the body are all dated methods of tick removal and are NOT recommended.
- It usually takes 24 hours or more for Lyme disease to be transmitted so the earlier that you find the tick, the better.
- You should save the tick as the National Park Service will test the tick for Lyme disease. Just drop the tick in a plastic bag and seal the bag. Carlo will have you fill out some paperwork to put this process in motion.
- Once you remove the tick, you will want to go to an urgent care clinic as there is a prophylactic dose of Doxycycline that can be effective as long as it is administered within 36 hours of removal of the tick. Note that there are several contraindications (<8 years old, pregnant, nursing).
Happy docenting and steer clear of these pesky vectors for disease!!!