'Burning, some pain': Tick cases rise due to mild winter

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Posted at 5:55 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 18:22:13-04

(WXYZ) — Tick season is starting early this year due to a mild winter. As a result, families in metro Detroit are on alert and taking extra precautions.

Wooded areas can often be a place for increased risk of tick bites. Many parents have been messaging us their stories from Flat Rock, to New Boston and Rochester Hills.

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Ashley Weatherhead talks about her daughter returning home with a tick bite after a soccer game in Grosse Ile Township. (May 14, 2024)

Ashley Weatherhead is a parent, sharing her story of her 7-year-old daughter Ava, returning home with a tick bite after a soccer game on Grosse Ille.

“Burning, some pain. She’s been on Benadryl,” Weatherhead said.

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A photo of Ava's tick bite.

The bugs can carry Lyme disease. They can also infect humans and pets with other illnesses as well. In Ava’s case, the ticks were embedded for two to three days resulting in a staph infection needing antibiotics.

“They put her on amoxicillin and she had a histamine reaction to the tick bite. We went to urgent care and Mott’s (Children's Hospital). They put her on a very strong antibiotic,” Weatherhead said.

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A tick bite on Ava.

Also in Farmington Public Schools, an email was sent to parents to inform them of several elementary school students found with ticks after a field trip in Novi.

Another bite victim, Krystal Brown also told us, “When I got home at the end of the night and got undressed I found a fourth tick. They just treated me like an Uber ride all day apparently.”

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Krystal Brown talks about tick bites she got. (May 14, 2024)

Parents are being urged to check their kids regularly in areas such as armpits, groin and scalp. Clothes are also to be washed in hot water if exposed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says removing ticks with tweezers should happen at a level close to the skin, and the area should be disinfected with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. In addition, experts say use Deet or other spray proven to help, stay on well-groomed trails, avoid tall grass and wear light-colored clothing.

tick treatment plan

Michigan is home to more than 20 tick species, posing a risk to humans and animals. It’s more reason to be careful, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.