Tick fever is a general term for several related conditions that include symptoms similar to those of a bad cold or flu. The ailment is mainly confined to the Western Hemisphere and can be spread through any type of tick. In the United States, tick fever is often caused by contact with a dog tick or a deer tick.
The symptoms of tick fever are much like those experienced before and during a severe cold. A high temperature is the most common symptom, usually accompanied by a pounding headache and a sense of pain running through the muscles of the body. It is not unusual for an individual suffering with tick fever to also develop chills and night sweats during the course of the illness. At some point, there is an excellent chance that a moderate to sever rash will develop as well.
People who spend a lot of time in tick-infested areas such as forests are much more likely to contract tick fever. To help minimize the chance of coming into contact with ticks, it is a good idea to cover as much of the body as possible when hunting or spending time in the wild. In order for a tick to attach to the skin, it is necessary to have direct contact. Protective clothing makes that level of contact impossible.
Even when protective clothing is worn, it is still a good idea to inspect the body after a day in the woods. In addition to looking for ticks, also be aware of any areas that appear to have sustained a small bite. This usually will have the appearance of a tiny puncture that is upraised and slightly discolored in comparison to the rest of the skin.
Just before taking a bath or shower, visually inspect the areas of the body that were left exposed, such as the hands, wrists, neck, and face. Also pay close attention to areas of the body that could have experienced momentary exposure, such as areas of the leg that may have been exposed if the pant leg rode up over the top of the boot at some point. As a final step, inspect areas of the body where the chance of exposure was highly unlikely.
Seeking medical treatment quickly is important. One of the results of tick fever is that the condition may cause inflammation of the blood vessels, which in turn may lead to a an increased risk of problems with circulation and blood clots. Fortunately, antibiotics are often very helpful in the early stages, both in terms of minimizing the severity of the outward symptoms and preventing any permanent damage from occurring.