Doctor removes suspected tick from man's ear after he returned to NZ from Aussie

A doctor in Canterbury has removed a suspected tick from behind a man's ear after he brought it back from Australia on the plane with him.

The patient came in to Dr Narayanan Socklingam's office at the Waikari Health Centre in North Canterbury today to have the insect removed.

Dr Socklingam said the man had been hiking in the bush in Australia on Tuesday, and hadn't noticed the tick until returning to New Zealand.

Paralysis ticks bite and hold on strong, sucking blood until they are full after about three days.

They are very common in the warmer parts of the year in most regions of Australia.

Dr Socklingam said the insect has been preserved and sent to the Ministry of Primary Industries for analysis.

An unfed adult female Australian paralysis tick - Ixodes holocyclus
An unfed adult female Australian paralysis tick - Ixodes holocyclus. Source: Wikimedia Commons

There are several tick species in New Zealand.

An insect removed from a patient in Canterbury after they returned from Australia.
An insect removed from a patient in Canterbury after they returned from Australia. Source: Dr Narayanan Sockalingam