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Managing Tick Related Diseases
Anyone in North Carolina who spends time outside is at risk for a tick bite. Many diseases are spread by these small bloodsucking parasites, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia. Tick-related diseases can be treated or controlled by means of medication. See the NC Health Info page on Tick Related Diseases for more information.
There are several different kinds of medical providers that can treat or help you manage a tick-related disease. These providers often work together as a team to help you develop a personalized care plan.
You can use your health insurance plan’s directory to find a care provider in your network. Or you can use the Physician Compare directory from Medicare.gov to find a provider that accepts Medicare. Directories for specific types of providers are listed below.
A primary care provider (PCP) may be a family physician, nurse practitioner, internist, or a physician’s assistant. Generally, you see a PCP for checkups, common health problems, and when you get sick. The PCP is usually the first health care professional you will see. Since tick-related illnesses can be complicated, your PCP may put together a team of providers to help you with whatever tick-related disease issues you may have. Your PCP will coordinate your care among these other specialists and team members. Your health insurance plan may require you to get the doctor's referral for visits to the other health professionals on the team.
A family physician is a general practitioner with additional specialty training and expertise in dealing with patients of all ages. Family physicians may provide both preventive care (routine checkups) and diagnosis and treatment of a chronic illness. Family physicians will coordinate your care with other subspecialists when needed. Some family physicians have special training in tick-related diseases. Use the American Board of Family Medicine directory to find a family physician.
Internal medicine specialists, also known as internists, focus on treating adult and adolescent medical disorders and provide long-term, comprehensive care. Internists are trained to treat the whole body, not just the internal organs, and they see patients for a variety of conditions and complaints, including tick-related diseases. Internists often provide preventive medicine and patient education services related to tick-related diseases. Use the American Board of Medical Specialties Certification Matters service to find a board certified internist near you. You must register first. Choose North Carolina as the state and Internal Medicine as the specialty.
A physician’s assistant (PA) is a licensed and certified professional who provides a range of services under the direction and supervision of a doctor. PAs use effective screening and diagnostic procedures for tick-related diseases. They can establish treatment goals for you, teach you about healthy lifestyles, and motivate you to take care of yourself. To find a PA who treats tick-related diseases, use the North Carolina Medical Board Licensee Search. Choose Physician Assistant as the License Type and Infectious Disease as the Area of Practice. Leave the other fields blank.
Tick Related Disease Supplies: Information about financial assistance with tick-related disease supplies and related health care items and services can be found at the Partnership for Prescription Assistance.
Free and Reduced Cost Clinics: Free and Reduced Cost Clinics: Use this directory from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine to search over 300 free and reduced cost clinics across North Carolina by location, hours of operation, insurance accepted (private, Medicaid, uninsured etc.) and type of service provided.
Support groups allow people to come together to share their stories, experiences, and lives. Talking with others who share your challenges can help you see that there are others who may be dealing with similar situations and who may have helpful advice from their perspective as a patient or family member. The Lyme Disease Network offers a number of resources, including support groups, on the topic of Lyme disease, on their online discussion forum. The Daily Strength also offers an online Lyme Disease Support Group.
Do you have a health related question? You are welcome to use the Health Sciences Library's Ask a Librarian service.
Our librarians are happy to help you with questions such as "How is diabetes diagnosed?" or "What is heart disease?". We can not answer questions about an individual's medical case or care. Please contact your doctor for specific medical advice.