On Thursday, I got a text message that my mother-in-law is suffering from flu-like symptoms and is having trouble even getting out of bed.

Now, obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is COVID-19, since there is extremely little to no cases of influenza circulating. She did mention to me that she had recently pulled a tick from her chest area; however, I wasn't so sure that is what she was ailing from.

She was complaining of back pain in the area of her kidneys, overall exhaustion, chills, and mental confusion. Since these overlap with symptoms of COVID, I convinced her to get a swab.

Can I mention it took A LOT of convincing, I mean why do people resist getting swabbed? If you feel ill with flu-like symptoms, call the hotline at 855-BMC-LINK, OR 855-262-5465. 

Anyway, her test came back NEGATIVE, much to her relief since her husband is 73 with some comorbidities.

After a trip to her primary, bloodwork revealed that she had a tick-borne infection, not lyme, but another. Yes, not all ticks carry lyme, but they can carry other diseases.

The point is, YES, it's tick season, and NO, not all that's out there is COVID.

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Adult ticks are active from mid-March to mid-May and then again from mid-August to November, according to health.ny.gov. Really, any time the temperature is above freezing, one should be checking for ticks.

Some tick bites are harmless; however, some carry diseases. The following can by symptoms of tick-related illness and require immediate antibiotics.

  • a red spot or rash near the bite site
  • a full-body rash
  • neck stiffness
  • a headache
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • muscle or joint pain or achiness
  • a fever
  • chills
  • swollen lymph nodes

Ticks can be found in grass, tall grass, leaf piles, shrubs, and trees.

Ticks prefer warm, moist areas of the body. Once a tick gets on your body, they’re likely to migrate to your armpits, groin, or hair. When they’re in a desirable spot, they bite into your skin and begin drawing blood. -healthline.com

My mother-in-law is currently feeling a little bit better and is completing her 10 day round of antibiotics.


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