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Tick found embedded in boy's ear (graphic content warning)

Monday, May 20th 2019, 4:40 pm - The doctors who removed the tick say the boy complained of "buzzing" noises.

When a nine-year-old boy in Connecticut was taken to a clinic complaining of buzzing noises and "having a sensation of a foreign body" in his right ear, doctors found a little bundle of nightmare fuel: A tick had lodged itself to the boy's eardrum.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors said surgery was needed to remove the arachnid -- an American dog tick -- which the boy likely came into contact with while playing outside his school. Remarkably, the boy experienced no pain or inflammation, and a month later was still none the worse for wear, with no loss of hearing.

Even more fortunately, it seems the boy did not become infected with Lyme disease, which is becoming more of a concern in some parts of the content as temperatures warm, ticks come out in force, and more people in the U.S. and Canada head outside to enjoy the environment.

In Ontario, black-legged ticks are the only kind of tick that can transmit the bacteria that causes the disease, according to Toronto Public Health, which has the following advice for people wary of ticks:

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET or icaridin, which are safe and effective for avoiding tick bites. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves. Light-coloured clothing may make ticks easier to spot.
  • Search your clothes and body when coming in from outdoors. Remember to also check your children and pets for ticks.
  • Take a shower to remove any ticks before they become attached.
  • If you find a tick on your body, it can be removed with fine-tipped tweezers by pulling the tick away from your skin gently but firmly.

Toronto Public Health says removing the tick within 24 hours of its attachment greatly reduces the risk of infection. Symptoms of Lyme disease include headache, muscle and joint pains, fatigue and a circular rash, and can appear as soon as three days or as long as one month after being bitten.

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