Growing up playing in the forest was something that brought me a lot of joy as a child. There were some cons behind it, and ticks were one of them. I remember that we simply pulled them off and put some rubbing alcohol and kept going with our games as if nothing happened.
I came to realize about tick diseases when I started working as a tour guide in 2002 more or less since travelers got really concerned whenever they saw a tick, they even had pincers and special creams to put on top of the little wound left by them.
As a guide, I used to hate them because I could get many during my three or two-day tours in Corcovado National Park, and because with all the sweat, they got infected and itching, but never did I get any other reaction than that one.
Because of the question about Lyme disease, I studied the topic and realized there was no risk of getting it in Costa Rica, so it was relieving for tourists to find out it was not dangerous for them if they got ticks during the tours.
First reported case of Lyme disease in Costa Rica
A report of a case of Lyme disease in Costa Rica In 2012 triggered an alarm in the country. The person with the disease was an Italian man living on the pacific coast for 14 years already and was diagnosed in the country!
After this, a proper study of the case was performed, and they found out the case was actually an exported one, the person had gone on vacation to The United States and had gotten the disease there and was diagnosed in Costa Rica after he came and felt sick.
There have been more cases, and all have also been exported by travelers that were in contact with ticks before arriving in Costa Rica.
How to remove a tick
I have always done the rustic way, with the fingers by pulling them off and then a bit of alcohol to avoid infection, but there is a more recommended procedure.
- Use small-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick, the closer to the skin the better.
- Pull up gently.
- Once the tick is removed, wash the area with soap and apply alcohol.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers.