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a blood-sucking parasitic arachnid; there are two types, hard and soft. Hard ticks (family Ixodidae) have a smooth, hard cover that shields the entire back of the male but only the anterior portion of the back in the female. Soft ticks (family Argasidae) lack this shield. Ticks are visible to the human eye. A hard tick can be seen on the skin, where it burrows into the outer layer with its knifelike tongue; it must be removed from the skin with care. Soft ticks do not bore into the skin. The two varieties carry different diseases but both thrive in the spring and early summer and inhabit wooded areas, brush, or grass.

Ticks serve as vectors for viruses causing colorado tick fever and some forms of encephalitis and for rickettsiae that cause such diseases as rocky mountain spotted fever and boutonneuse fever. A progressive ascending flaccid paralysis called tick paralysis may follow the bite of certain species, usually Dermacentor andersoni.
Removal of Hard Ticks. If hard ticks are extracted from the skin immediately, before they begin to suck blood, the chances of their transmitting disease are lessened; probably the only damage done will be an irritating itch at the site. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that ticks be removed intact with fine-tip tweezers. Once the head and body are removed, the tick should not be squeezed or crushed with the bare hands. The site should be washed with soap and water.
tick fever any of various infectious diseases transmitted by the bite of a tick. The causative parasite may be a rickettsia, as in rocky mountain spotted fever; a bacterium such as Babesia or Borrelia; or a virus, such as that of colorado tick fever.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(tik), Do not confuse this word with tic.
An acarine of the families Ixodidae (hard ticks) or Argasidae (soft ticks), which contain many bloodsucking species that are important pests of humans and domestic birds and mammals, and that probably exceed all other arthropods in the number and variety of disease agents that they transmit. Ticks are differentiated from the much smaller true mites by possession of an armed hypostome and a pair of tracheal spiracular openings located behind the basal segment of the third or fourth pair of walking legs; the larva (seed tick) has six legs, and after molting appears as an eight-limbed nymph. Some important ticks are Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick) and A. hebraeum (South African bont tick); Argas persicus (adobe, fowl, or Persian tick) and A. reflexus (pigeon tick); Boophilus (cattle ticks); Dermacentor albopictus (horse or winter tick), D. andersoni (Rocky Mountain spotted fever or wood tick), D. nitens (tropic horse tick), D. occidentalis (Pacific or wood tick), and D. variabilis (American dog tick); Haemaphysalis chordeilis (bird tick) and H. laporis-palustris (rabbit tick); Ixodes pacificus (California black-legged tick), I. pilosus (paralysis tick), I. ricinus (castor bean tick), and I. scapularis (black-legged or shoulder tick); Ornithodoros coriaceus (pajaroello tick) and O. moubata (African relapsing fever or tampan tick); and Rhipicephalus everti (African red tick), R. sanguineus (brown dog tick), and R. simus (black-pitted tick).
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


1. Any of various small bloodsucking arachnids of the order Ixodida that are parasitic on terrestrial vertebrates. Many species transmit diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
2. Any of various usually wingless insects that resemble a tick, such as a sheep ked.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Abbreviation for:
teamwork, integrity, courage, knowledge
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Medical entomology A hematophagous ectoparasitic arthropod of the superfamily Ixodoidea, which is either a hard tick–family Ixodidae or a soft tick–family Argasidae; ticks may be vectors of bacterial and viral infections. See Colorado tick fever, Deer tick, Lone Star tick, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Ticks of interest  
Dermacentor andersoni, the North America vector, Rocky Mountain spotted fever–RMSF, Colorado tick fever–CTF, tularemia and tick paralysis
D marginatus Asian vector–Russian spring-summer fever virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, possibly also Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever virus and Babesia reservoir for Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus
D occidentalis West coast North America–presumed vector for RMSF, CTF
D parumapertus Southwestern US–vector for RMSF, CTF
D variabilis Eastern US–vector for RMSF, tularemia, CTF, and tick paralysis; Asian and African ticks, vectors of Rickettsialpox
Ixodes dammini Northern deer tick–vector, Babesia microti, Lyme disease agent
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Any of a variety of small, bloodsucking arachnids that may have either hard (i.e., Ixodid ticks) or soft (i.e., Argasid ticks) shells. Ticks normally feed on wild birds, mammals, or reptiles, and transmit disease by feeding on an infected host (the reservoir host), then later feeding on a domestic animal or human. Ticks have a three-stage life cycle: larva, nymph (eight-legged), and adult (eight-legged), and require a blood meal at each stage before molting into the next stage or, in the case of the adult, before mating and laying eggs. Some common tick-borne diseases are babesiosis: the black-legged and Western black-legged ticks. Colorado tick fever: Rocky Mountain wood tick. Ehrlichiosis (HGE and HME): Lone Star tick and black-legged tick. Lyme disease: black-legged tick and Western black-legged tick. The "deer tick" was once thought by scientists at Yale University to be a separate species, and was named Ixodes dammini. It has since been proven to be the same species as the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF): American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, and Pacific Coast tick. Tick-borne relapsing fever: soft ticks (Ornithodoros hermsi, O. turicata). Tick paralysis: American dog and Rocky Mountain wood tick. Tularemia (rabbit fever): Lone Star tick, Rocky Mountain tick, Pacific Coast tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about tick

Q. How do people get ticks?

A. when i stayed in the Peruvian jungle for 3 weeks - ticks were the most common parisite we encountered. we finished every day with a set of pincers and a flashlight :) they just stand on the plants waiting for something to pass near. be that a man, a monkey or an ant eater. they don't care, as long as they have blood. the same in cities, they just wait in strategic points until you'll pass along and they'll just jump on you. be sure to use pincers to plunk them, catch their sucking tube and plunk. if not they might leave it in your body and it'll get infected.

Q. I had a tick to bite me a few days ago now I have a headache on and off and feel nauseous and diarrhea My friend had a stomach virus last week is my symptoms coming from the tick or is it a coincidence

A. It sounds like the tick bite is just a coincidence. You probably caught a virus, not necessarily from your friend who was sick, but that's also a possibility. However, if the bad feeling doesn't go away, or your suddenly experience fever spikes, you should see a doctor, because you might have a bacterial infection that will need antibiotics.

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