DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tick bite on the skin of a 65-year-old man. Ticks are parasites which feed on human blood, using their hooked mouthparts to pierce the skin. After feeding, the tick drops off its host, leaving a small wound and an area of inflammation, as seen here. In some regions ticks are important carriers of disease, which they may transmit to humans when they feed. Tick-borne diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which causes a bleeding skin rash and a fever, and Lyme disease, which causes a fever, muscle pain and inflamed joints. This patient was bitten by a tick in South Africa.
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