PCA's when encountering Australian Paralysis Ticks

PCA's when encountering Australian Paralysis Ticks

In Australia, Australian Paralysis Ticks have been encountered primarily on the eastern seaboard. This includes the coastlines of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

This is as the Paralysis Tick's habitat is commonly made up of moist, humid and coastal areas with long grasses and bushland. The Paralysis tick is also most active during periods of high humidity, especially after it has rained in an area. There have also been some documented encounters inland. 

⚠ Always check with councils in the local area that you are in, wherever you are in Australia, for any sightings or documented encounters with paralysis ticks to know what to expect. 

Adverse reactions from the paralysis tick bite can be mild to severe. Severe reactions may be allergic, such as anaphylaxis from a Tick Allergy, Mammalian Meat Allergy that is caused by the bite, or the bite may cause paralysis.

If you're at risk of encountering the paralysis tick, it's essential to take particular care and precautions to avoid encounters that can lead to adverse reactions. For instance, avoiding long grasses or wearing protective clothing. 

Below are some Personal Contingency Actions to take, depending on what you are doing and where you are, to reduce exposure and bites from the Australian Paralysis Tick in Australia-

BEFORE ENCOUNTERING A PARALYSIS TICK HABITAT
If you're going to encounter a habitat that may contain paralysis ticks, below is what you can wear and do to reduce exposure and bites:

  • Wear long pants tucked into socks when walking.
  • Wear a long-sleeved t-shirt that is tucked into pants.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and tie your hair back or wear it in a bun (if you have long hair).
  • Wear light coloured clothing to better see ticks in case they latch onto your clothing.
  • Use insect repellent that contains diethyl-meta-toluamide 'deet'*.
  • Treat your clothing or buy clothing with Permethrin* before visiting a habitat. You can get permethrin kits: Following the label directions is essential to receive the maximum effect. These kits can be found online or at outdoor stores.
  • Paralysis ticks can also bite the pets that you take with you on walks or hikes like Dogs. Make sure your pets that encounter paralysis tick habitats are treated for paralysis ticks prior. You can do this by visiting your vet for a suitable treatment. There are various oral and topical treatment options available.
  • If working outdoors in a known Australian Paralysis Tick habitat, wear permethrin-treated* clothing and gloves.

*Please check that you're not allergic to this before using it. If unsure, please reach out to your GP, immunologist or allergist.

If you encounter a paralysis tick on your body or someone else's body, DO NOT forcibly remove or touch the tick, as disturbing the tick may cause more saliva to be injected and lead to an adverse reaction. The safest way to remove the paralysis tick is to seek immediate medical assistance.

AFTER ENCOUNTERING A PARALYSIS TICK HABITAT
Below are actions you can take to reduce exposure and bites after you have encountered a paralysis tick habitat-

  • Check your clothing and body for paralysis ticks, paying particular attention to your neck, hair and ankles.
  • After encountering a paralysis tick habitat, remove all clothing, check your body, paying particular attention to your head and neck. Place the removed clothing into a hot dryer cycle for at least 20 minutes. If you don't have a dryer, place your clothing in hot water or in direct contact with sunlight away from your foliage.
  • If you have children, diligently check your children and their belongings in case they have brought any "souvenirs" back from the habitat.
  • Pay more attention to all actions during periods of higher humidity and after rain.

IF YOU HAVE A PARALYSIS TICK HABITAT AT HOME OR IN YOUR BACKYARD
Below are actions you can take to reduce exposure and bites if you have a paralysis tick habitat at home or in your backyard-

  • Reduce tick habitats in your yard by removing grass or keeping the grass short; remove overhanging shady foliage and leaf litter. (Note: Make sure you wear protective clothing while doing this).
  • If gardening in a known Paralysis Tick habitat, wear permethrin-treated* clothing and gloves.
  • Contact a pest control company with experience in tick treatment to treat your yard with a lawn tick treatment. 
  • Paralysis ticks can also bite your house pets like Dogs, Cats and Rabbits that may encounter the paralysis ticks in your backyard. Make sure your pets are treated for paralysis ticks by visiting your vet for a suitable treatment. There are various oral and topical treatment options available.
  • Paralysis ticks can also be brought into your home and backyard by wildlife such as bandicoots and possums that can carry the paralysis tick. Installing wildlife barriers around your house and yard will help discourage these wildlife from entering your home with the paralysis tick.

*Please check that you're not allergic to this before using it. If unsure, please reach out to your GP, immunologist or allergist.

These are just some Personal Contingency Actions you can take to reduce exposure and bites from the Australian Paralysis Tick. We hope that you are better prepared and will be safer when at risk of encountering the Australian Paralysis Tick in the future.

If you have any general questions, please get in touch with us. If you have any questions about symptoms, treatments and further actions linked to your individual circumstances, please speak to a GP. Also, reach out to local councils to understand if there are Paralysis Ticks present in areas that you will be in.

The information provided on Allergy Life Australia is to generally educate and inform you about living with allergies, intolerances and conditions, and is not intended as medical instruction or as a substitute for diagnosis, examination and advice by a qualified health care provider.

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