How to reduce harm from ticks

A Healthy You

From swim time to long hikes. Many people see the warmer months as a great time to go outside and explore nature. However, it’s important to remember that not all aspects of nature are safe.

Time outdoors can expose you to ticks. These insects may be lurking, ready to attach onto you and transmit disease.

According to the CDC, cases of tick-borne diseases have been increasing since 2004.

More than one type of tick may carry one disease and more than one disease can be present on one tick.

For instance blacklegged ticks are more common on the east coast and can transmit of lyme disease and ehrlichia. Patients can expect a wide range of symptoms if infected from fevers to rashes to low platelets and red blood cells.

Severe cases can have heart problems and seizures.

Rocky mountain spotted fever should be on your radar if you’re on the west coast. A simple bite can yield a significant rash that starts on your hands and ankles and travels inwards.

So try and limit skin exposure by wearing long sleeves and long pants. And when you return, check your body and clothes for these critters. Adults should check children and pets any time you return from the outdoors.

If you spot one, carefully remove it using tweezers- pulling slow and steady as you don’t want to leave any of the tick behind. And call your doctor for any additional recommendations. You may be prescribed an antibiotic.

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