Does a Tick Bite Cause a Fever?

Most bites from disease-carrying ticks are known to cause fever and other symptoms, including headaches, queasiness, retching and muscular pains, states WebMD. These flu-like symptoms may manifest a day or 3 weeks after being bitten by a tick. Individuals who develop commonly associated symptoms of tick-borne illnesses are advised to seek professional help.

Ticks belong to a group of small parasitic arachnids that latch onto the skin of humans and other animals to suck on the blood of their hosts. Although bites from these bloodsuckers are generally harmless, some ticks can transmit dangerous and potentially fatal illnesses, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, relapsing fever and ehrlichiosis.

Fever that is associated with tick-related diseases is often accompanied by aches and physical discomfort, chills and even rashes. The outbreak of the fever and the degree to which the body temperature abnormally increases may vary from patient to patient, notes the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Lyme disease, rashes may develop prior to the onset of fever, typically within 3 to 30 days after a tick bite. In the case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rashes usually appear within 2 to 5 days after a patient becomes feverish. Rashes that form in some individuals who contract a fever after a tick bite incident may also indicate the presence of ehrlichiosis.