It is Tick Time!

ticks 2014Summertime is here, and along with it is the threat of tick-borne disease.  Ticks can transmit serious, and sometimes fatal illness.  Many of these illnesses can be effectively prevented or treated if they are caught early.  Not all ticks carry disease, but some tick-borne diseases prevalent in our area are Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Lymes-like tick disease.

Using insect repellent reduces the risks of being bitten.  Products containing a 20% DEET are most effective. Most tick-transmitted diseases are not transferred to the host until the tick has been feeding (attached) for at least 8 hours, so a thorough body check for ticks and removal is important.  When removing a tick, grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull straight out. Clean the area with soap and water.

 Watch for symptoms of tick-borne disease in the days and weeks following a tick bite.  These include any unusual rash and unexplained flu-like symptoms, including fever, severe headaches, body aches and dizziness.  If symptoms appear, consult your doctor and mention the recent tick bite.  Prompt treatment with antibiotics can prevent serious illness or even death.